A new resource; First Legal Steps on a Property Project Chart is now available on TMCP's website. This can be used as a tool to help Managing Trustees who are starting a property project to identify potential legal issues early in the whole process so that they can be taken into account and built into the project plans.

The new First Legal Steps on a Property Project Chart (the First Steps Chart) can be accessed from the Sales; Letting Property and Third Party Use, Granting a Non-Residential Lease to a Third Party; and Developments and Works pages on TMCP’s website.

What is the First Steps Chart for?

The First Steps Chart is aimed at Managing Trustees who are starting a property project; whether that is a sale of a Manse or chapel, a more complicated sale of part of a site with overage, a lease, tenancy, works or a full scale redevelopment project. While the complexities involved and financial implications of legal issues may be very different, the First Steps Chart can be a useful resource whatever the scale of your project.

The First Steps Chart sets out key legal issues to consider at the initial stage of a project and provides a reminder of the Methodist and charitable requirements. Some issues identified early can be resolved preventing delays later in the life of a project e.g. resolving errors in registration. Other issues identified e.g. the property being listed or subject to restrictive covenants, will enable the Managing Trustees to get the internal and external help they require and ensure the listed status or restrictions imposed are factored into the whole project and where necessary, the project timetable.

How to use the First Steps Chart

Once the Managing Trustees have decided what they are going to do and how that fits in with the Connexional Property Strategy and their mission plan, Managing Trustees may find the First Steps Chart useful in setting out questions to help them consider the legal aspects of a property project.

Horizontally the First Steps Chart is split into three columns:

  1. Questions for Managing Trustees to consider – this can be used as a sort of checklist;
  2. Action for Managing Trustees to take; and
  3. Where to get help within the Methodist Church and beyond.

Vertically the First Steps Chart is again split into three sections with:

  • The first set of questions relating to Site Issues;
  • The second set of questions relating to Assembling your Team; and
  • The third set of questions relating to Methodist and charity law requirements.

The emphasis is very much on identifying where Managing Trustees can get the help and support they need depending on the Managing Trustees’ own expertise and confidence to investigate the issues raised independently.

Managing Trustees embarking on a property project are encouraged to consider the key legal questions set out in the First Steps Chart so that they can forge ahead with a plan in place to resolve any issues while taking on board site issues that will impact on the plans generally.

For guidance on the Connexional Property Strategy and mission plans please refer to the Starting a Property Project page, on the Methodist Church Website.

If you have any queries in relation to the guidance in the First Steps Chart please contact TMCP Legal for further assistance.