The following sales guidance notes have been updated to reflect the change in requirements on who can give the “best price certificate” and also to emphasise the duty placed on charity trustees to keep property on the market until the buyer becomes contractually obliged to buy (exchange of contracts):
- Sale Checklist
- Sale Guidance for Managing Trustees
- Sale Guidance for Solicitors
- Sale FAQs – (FAQ1 - Accepting an offer)
Best price certificate
It is now a requirement of the Methodist Church that the certificate of best price and adequate marketing required on a sale is given by the qualified surveyor acting for the Managing Trustees and not the agent. Managing Trustees as prudent charity trustees rely on the certificate to satisfy themselves that best price has been obtained in all the circumstances. Knowing that the certificate is given by a Member or Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors should help to give Managing Trustees’ peace of mind. The importance of being able to show to the Charity Commission that that the Managing Trustees have fulfilled the obligations under s.119 of the Charities Act 2011 was highlighted in the News Hub Article published on 6 June 2017 Charity Trustees failure to comply with charity law in the disposal of property.
Keeping the property on the market
It is a general charity law principle that charitable property should be left on the market until exchange of contracts to ensure best price is obtained. Managing Trustees need to leave property on the market after accepting an offer unless the qualified surveyor advised against marketing the property in the QSR (e.g. in the case of a “special” purchaser), the property has already been advertised subject to a cut-off date for offers received (e.g. sealed bids or tender) or has otherwise confirmed that the property should be taken off the market. Please refer to the guidance in the Sale Guidance for Managing Trustees and refer to FAQ 1.
If you have any queries on the legal requirements and/or steps involved with sales and accepting offers, please contact TMCP Legal and a member of our legal team will be happy to assist you.