Charities’ long-term survival at risk due to property boom

A new report has shown almost half of charities consider property to be their greatest concern to the long-term health of their organisation. 

The research, conducted by the Ethical Property Foundation, found that 45 per cent of the charities who took part in their Charity Property Matters Survey 2014 thought property issues posed a real threat to their future. 

Among the most common property concerns were increases in prices, obtaining finance to rent or purchase property and the cost of maintaining buildings.

The housing market has been in a state of rapid growth over recent years, with a demand for new housing escalating against a shortfall of supply – an issue made worse by the scarcity of finance options and tougher bank lending regulations. 

Those affected in the south east of England have been particularly affected, the survey notes.

It states: “The impact is being felt of rising land values and market rents. However, it is consistent with the property market generally. Property prices in the region are continuing to rise. Rents have more than doubled in some parts of the capital since the last survey.”

The survey goes on to suggest that charities are considered risky by landlords, and are often given shorter leases than private or public sector organisations. 

A knock-on effect of shorter leases is that charities fail to meet the criteria of the Landlord and Tenants Act, which “in turn affects the charity’s ability to create longer term business plans,” the report states.

Paula Sussex, chief executive of the Charity Commission, who helped with the commissioning of the research said: “Property queries are one of the most common types of enquiries we receive from charities.

“Property, whilst a great asset, also comes with risks and charities must be sure to include such considerations in their planning and decision making.”

If you have any queries relating to property, or would like to know how Nicklin can help your charity’s finances, please contact us today.