Legal and governance training and consultancy
for the voluntary sector

Ch.1: Setting up an organisation
Ch.2: Unincorporated organisations
Ch.3: Incorporated organisations
Ch.4: Charitable status, charity law & regulation
Ch.5: The organisation's objects
Ch.6: The organisation's name
Ch.7: The governing document
Ch.8: Registering as a charity
Ch.9: Branches, subsidiaries & group structures
Ch.10: Changing legal form
Ch.11: Collaborative working, partnerships and mergers
Ch.12: Members of the organisation
Ch.13: Members of the governing body
Ch.14: Officers, committees & sub-committees
Ch.15: Duties & powers of the governing body
Ch.16: Restrictions on payments & benefits
Ch.17: The registered office & other premises
Ch.18: Communication & paperwork
Ch.19: Meetings, resolutions & decision making
Ch.20: Assets & agency
Ch.21: Contracts & contract law
Ch.22: Risk & liability
Ch.23: Insurance
Ch.24: Financial difficulties & winding up
Ch.25: Employees & other workers
Ch.26: Rights, duties & the contract of employment
Ch.27: Model contract of employment
Ch.28: Equal opportunities in employment
Ch.29: Taking on new employees
Ch.30: Pay & pensions
Ch.31: Working time, time off & leave
Ch.32: Rights of parents & carers
Ch.33: Disciplinary matters, grievances & whistleblowing
Ch.34: Termination of employment
Ch.35: Redundancy
Ch.36: Employer-employee relations
Ch.37: Employment claims & settlement
Ch.38: Self employed & other contractors
Ch.39: Volunteers
Ch.40: Health & safety
Ch.41: Safeguarding children & vulnerable adults
Ch.42: Equal opportunities: goods, services & facilities
Ch.43: Data protection & use of information
Ch.44: Intellectual property
Ch.45: Publications, publicity & the internet
Ch.46: Campaigning & political activities
Ch.47: Public events, entertainment & licensing
Ch.48: Funding & fundraising: General rules
Ch.49: Fundraising activities
Ch.50: Tax-effective giving
Ch.51: Trading & social enterprise
Ch.52: Contracts & service agreements
Ch.53: Financial procedures & security
Ch.54: Annual accounts, reports & returns
Ch.55: Auditors & independent examiners
Ch.56: Corporation tax, income tax & capital gains tax
Ch.57: Value added tax
Ch.58: Investment & reserves
Ch.59: Borrowing
Ch.61: Acquiring & disposing of property
Ch.62: Business leases
Ch.63: Property management & the environment
Ch.64: How the law works
Ch.65: Dispute resolution & litigation

This page contains information that has appeared on Sandy Adirondack's legal update website for voluntary organisations at For current updates, including potential changes that are in the pipeline, see the legal update website.

These websites for each chapter update the 3rd edition of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook by James Sinclair Taylor and the Charity Team at Russell-Cooke Solicitors, edited by Sandy Adirondack (Directory of Social Change, 2009). The websites are not intended as a comprehensive update and should not be treated as such.

To order a copy of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook, print out the order form at or send an email order by clicking . It costs £60 for voluntary organisations or £90 for others, plus 10% p&p.

To avoid spamming, an email address is not given on screen. If you can't see the word 'here' or have trouble sending an email by clicking on it, the address is bookservice at, with the spaces and 'at' replaced by the @ symbol.

The information here covers the law applicable to England and Wales. It may not apply in Northern Ireland and/or Scotland. These news items are not a full or definitive statement of the law and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting can be taken by the author.

Chapter 60

This page contains only archived items, which may not be up to date. For current updates to the chapter, see the legal update website for voluntary organisations at


Updated 19/7/10.
Planning Aid England has updated its website at, Online resources include a guide to the planning process and a jargon buster. Telephone advice is available to charities and other voluntary organisations, either through Planning Aid England or through separate Planning Aids in London, Wales, Scotland (details on the England website).

The new My Community Space website, at, is intended for organisations that own or manage community premises and those looking for premises. Run by Community Matters, it includes advice on finding and taking on premises, managing premises, building and improving premises, maintaining premises, and getting professional advice; sources of further information and advice; and advertisements for premises available for rent or hire. The advertisements are currently only for London, but are expected to roll out nationally. Information on the website will in due course be extended to cover not only buildings, but also open spaces.

RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), in association with NCVO and the Charity Finance Directors' Group, set up Charity Property Help for charities and other voluntary organisations in 2009. The scheme provides a one-hour consultation free of charge on matters such as property strategy, property management, project management, office relocation, rent reviews, service charges, dilapidations, lease renewals, disposing of freehold and leasehold properties, capital additions, planning issues, rates, council tax, environmental issues, health and safety, Disability Discrimination Act compliance, risk and disaster management, landlord and tenant disputes, and disputes relating to boundaries, repairs, builders or insurance claims. If additional time is required, a fee is negotiated.

Details are at

Another source of information about property issues is the Ethical Property Foundation, at, which provides written briefings and training on property issues, and has a helpline for charities and other voluntary organisations.


Added 1/4/09. This information is included in s.60.6.3 in The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook (VSLH3).
The land register, maintained by the Land Registry, covers freehold properties and leases of more than seven years in England and Wales, and charges and other matters affecting them. Land and leases that are not already registered generally do not have to be registered until it is sold, mortgaged, or gifted. But from 6 April 2009 compulsory registration is triggered when unregistered land held in trust is vested in a new trustee. For trusts and unincorporated associations with unregistered land or leases of more than seven years, registration will be required within two months of a new holding trustee or custodian trustee being appointed. Following this, a Land Registry fee based on the value of the property is payable each time the property is vested in a new trustee.

To avoid having to pay this fee whenever an individual is appointed to hold the land, the organisation may want to appoint an incorporated body to hold the land, or if it is a charity, to vest the land in the official custodian for charities. The land will have to be registered when the incorporated body or official custodian is appointed, but once this is done there will never, or hardly ever, be a change of trustee.

Even if compulsory registration is not triggered, unregistered land can be registered voluntarily. This gives landowners enhanced rights to take action in case of a claim for adverse possession (squatters’ rights). While land is registered voluntarily there is a 25% reduction in the registration fee, but the full fee has to be paid when the land becomes subject to compulsory registration.

The Land Registry hopes that by 2012, all land in England and Wales that is capable of registration will be registered.

Guidance from the Land Registry is available under "Important developments / First registration - advice for trustees" at
Information about the official custodian for charities is at
The Land Registration Act 2002 (Amendment) Order 2008 is at

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Governance and legal training and consultancy
for the voluntary sector

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Tel 020 7232 0726; fax 020 7237 8117