Transfers of land following a transfer power resolution



1. What is this guidance for?

1.1. This guidance explains what the trustees of a small charity must do to transfer land to a receiving charity when a resolution to transfer the assets of a small charity to one or more charities with similar purposes using the power provided by the Charities Act 1993, as altered by the Charities Act 2006 (the transfer power) comes into effect. It should be read together with the detailed guidance in Transfer of property for smaller charities (CSD 1348A1), which includes an explanation of some of the terms used here.

1.2. All the publications referred to in this guidance, along with all our other publications, are available on our website at or can be obtained by using the contact information in section 6.

2. How can land be transferred?

2.1. A transfer resolution does not actually transfer land. Such transfers must be completed by a formal legal document. There are two ways the trustees of a transferring charity can do this. They may:

  • apply in writing to us for an order transferring the land to the trustees of the receiving charity; or
  • instruct solicitors to draw up formal documents of transfer (the cost involved can be met out of the income of the charity).

2.2. These methods apply whether or not the land is held by a corporate trustee (such as a charitable company) or is to be vested in a corporate trustee. We expect trustees to choose the first way because our services are provided free of charge.

2.3. The receiving charity may be required, or its trustees may choose, to apply for the land to be vested in the name of the Official Custodian for Charities. These notes also provide general guidance on this and our publication The Official Custodian for Charities’ Land Holding Service(CC13) explains this service in detail.

3. What if the land is already vested in the Official Custodian?

3.1. Where land is vested in the name of the Official Custodian in trust for the transferring charity and the transfer is not completed by an order made by us, the Official Custodian should be made a party to the deed but will not have to execute it. The deed will have to be completed in the name of and on behalf of the Official Custodian by all the trustees of the transferring charity or by two of them authorised for the purpose as required by section 82 of the Charities Act 1993. If the land is to be transferred by an order the procedure set out in section 5 below should be followed.

3.2. Where land is vested in a custodian trustee rather than the Official Custodian, the trustees have a corresponding power to complete the transfer on behalf of the custodian trustee that can be found in paragraph 4(3) of Schedule 1 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.

4. How can land be vested in the name of the Official Custodian?

No document of transfer which is prepared by a solicitor can vest land in the name of the Official Custodian, this can only be done by an order made by us or, in very rare cases, the Court. If the land is to be vested in the name of the Official Custodian in trust for a receiving charity and the transfer between the transferring and receiving charities is not going to be completed by an order made by us, we will make the necessary vesting order after the transfer has been completed. You can get:

by visiting the Apply for it page on our website or by telephoning or emailing our Contact Centre.

5. Transfer by an order made by us

The transfer powers enable us, at the request of the trustees of the receiving charity, to make orders vesting any property of that charity in its trustees. If we are asked to make such an order, we should be told at the same time if any land is ultimately to be vested in the name of the Official Custodian in trust for the receiving charity so that one order may be made to cover both requirements.

6. Contacting us

If you have a query about this guidance or need further advice about using the power to change purposes or some of the other publications or forms referred to in this guidance, please contact us.

7. Information sheets and application form

If you have trouble downloading and printing these, please contact us by email, phone or by writing to us.

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