A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Landlords and tenants can share their problems and give each other mutual support
Post Reply
Charity101
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:21 am
Number of Posts per Page: 9
Number of topics per page: 9

A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by Charity101 »

Its a long story, but our Community Centre Trustees gave a 2 month no fault notice to remove a Social club, who have ignored the notice. They used to have an Occupational Licence.They are hostile and refusing to leave or give up their keys. The Centre is closed under lock down, and all other user groups are awaiting official authorisation to return to the centre. We are having to resort to asking the Charity Commission if we can use charity funds to evict them through the courts. They are not paying anything for using the building or utilities.The question I have is: If we manage to find a way in to our building (to take pictures and read the electric meter), and we do not take the opportunity to enter the building, are we inadvertently giving them any exclusive rights? Many thanks
Collaborate
Posts: 2428
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by Collaborate »

Charity101 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:39 am Its a long story, but our Community Centre Trustees gave a 2 month no fault notice to remove a Social club, who have ignored the notice. They used to have an Occupational Licence.They are hostile and refusing to leave or give up their keys. The Centre is closed under lock down, and all other user groups are awaiting official authorisation to return to the centre. We are having to resort to asking the Charity Commission if we can use charity funds to evict them through the courts. They are not paying anything for using the building or utilities.The question I have is: If we manage to find a way in to our building (to take pictures and read the electric meter), and we do not take the opportunity to enter the building, are we inadvertently giving them any exclusive rights? Many thanks
Assuming you are a trustee, you have deeper problems than this if, when in need of legal advice, you turn to a public message board rather than getting paid for, professional advice.

Your potential personal liability should keep you awake at night. The way to get a good nights sleep is to dip in to funds and pay for proper advice. That will serve to cover your backs. You do not need the permission of the charity commission to take the steps you are considering. The fact that you think you do suggests to me that the charity trustees are way out of their depth.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... r-trustees
Charity101
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:21 am
Number of Posts per Page: 9
Number of topics per page: 9

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by Charity101 »

As I said its a long story (with further complications), and as such have employed a legal team inc a Barrister, hense asking the Charity Commission if we can use charity funds to evict them through the courts. Unfortunately Covid-19 has put immense pressure on our solicitors time. Having previously received some excellent counsel from this site (years ago, and with a long defunct email account)(and I represented myself in court and won), I was hoping to benefit from the many years of experience the members on this site have, in researching the law, and to save me waiting for a reply from our Solicitor, or duplicating research myself. So if anyone knows if we would inadvertently give the Social Club any exclusive rights by not entering the building when we could, please let me know. Many thanks
ukmicky
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by ukmicky »

There is a thing called peaceful entry and if you can get in you can change the locks ,however you must still send the proper notices before hand. If you don’t know what notices must be sent you must speak to a solicitor because if you get it wrong you will get in big legal trouble .


Also in case your not aware if it unincorporated all members are liable for any debt but you firstly go after the committee members .

Why are you paying for the gas etc . Was it an informal arrangement with no lease.


I
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
Charity101
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:21 am
Number of Posts per Page: 9
Number of topics per page: 9

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by Charity101 »

We sent notice through our Solictor and attempted peaceful entry, but were barred at the door. The Charity holds the Lease, the Social Club were under an Occupational Licence for the bar area which is in the front reception area. They paid a monthly fee for that area and storage rooms but refused to pay an increase in monthly fee since 1998. The Charity, as leaseholders pay for the utilities and upkeep of the building. As you can imagine, its no longer viable to have them use the building. In other respects the building functions as a Community Centre, hosting anything from keep fit to WI
despair
Posts: 16946
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by despair »

Can you not legally tell the Utility companies you are not responsible for the bills ...send them to squatters direct......only asking out of interest

Is there no way some outside person could bluff their way into the group and find a way to let you in .....maybe subtefuge is only way fwd
ukmicky
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by ukmicky »

Yes I would end the utility contracts
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: A Business is squatting in Charity owned building

Post by ukmicky »

You’ve basically created a sub lease
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
Post Reply