Charities Act 2022: Changes from 7 March 2024

The latest round of changes to charity regulation, resulting from the introduction of the Charities Act 2022, came into effect on 7 March 2024.

The general flavour of the series of amendments (this one follows on from previous changes in October 2022 and June 2023), has been to aim to reduce bureaucracy and reflect changes in the environment in which charities operate. Hopefully, making life easier without losing the necessary level of accountability.

What is changing in March 2024?

Changes to governing documents

This applies to some trusts and unincorporated charities. Most such charities’ governing documents include an express power of amendment, allowing them to make changes to their governing document. Those charities that do not have this express power face complex rules for making changes, and often need to seek Charity Commission consent to do so. The change will introduce a power for trustees of all unincorporated charities to change their governing documents.

Note that Commission consent will still be required for certain changes, such as changing your charitable objects.

Selling, Leasing or otherwise disposing of charity land

A number of changes to such transactions were introduced in June 2023, but the following provisions were delayed:

  • Where a charity disposes of land to another charity and is seeking the best possible return for the charity, it will be subject to the same requirements as for any other disposal, i.e. a report to consider the value, etc. Prior to 7 March 2024 there is no requirement seek advice and a report to demonstrate best value.
  • Where a liquidator/receiver/mortgagee/administrator sells charity land, they will be subject only to their professional requirements for a land sale, rather than any requirements applying specifically to charity land.
  • Land disposal contracts must include a statement that the transaction has been sanctioned by a court, or by the Commission, or that the trustees have the necessary power to make the disposal and that they have complied with relevant laws.

Charity mergers

As long as the merger has been registered as such with the Charity Commission, a legacy gift to the charity that has transferred its assets to another will be treated as a gift to the new or merged entity – even if the charity named in the donor’s will has then been wound up.

Other provisions

These changes also allow the Charity Commission too:

  • Authorise payment to a trustee for work done for their charity, if it is considered that it would be inequitable to not pay them.
  • Confirm trustee appointments where the appointment process was defective.

For information on these and other changes, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Charity & Not for Profit Team on 01903 234094