A significant number of CLH organisations operate as charities or operate as non-charitable trading arms of charities. Local authorities and housing associations that are not themselves charitable need to be aware of the role, duties and responsibilities that they operate under.
- The Charity Commission publishes a suite of guidance notes and information about charities, regulatory issues, and its activities and purpose. It has a publication scheme which contains both detailed guidance and ‘how to’ guides. There are links to specific guidance contained elsewhere in the Toolkit
- The guidance also refers to the Charity Governance Code. This Code is intended as a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance. Councils should be aware of the obligations on charities and those involved in them, in determining whether or not the charity and/or its trustees are fit for purpose
- Councils could also refer charities to the suite of guidance notes available or particular detailed guidance notes dealing with specific issues e.g:
- Checks can be made on all registered charities on the Charity Commission’s website. Whilst not strictly Charity Commission guidance, this may prove to be a useful tool for councils (and the public generally) in seeking to review key information about a charity including financial performance, whether it is compliant with its regulatory obligations, the trustees involved with the same and its objects (including whether or not its objectives enable the charity to be involved in community led housing projects)
- In the event that a charity is also a company, there is also a suite of guidance notes available from Companies House that may assist; a charitable company is registered with and regulated by both the Charity Commission and Companies House
- In the event that a charitable CLH organisation made a decision to sell or transfer one of its assets at less than best price, it would need to comply with Charity commission guidance on disposals.