Property issues are barrier to delivering objectives for 45% of charities, according to poll

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26th February 2021 13:40 - Voluntary

Property issues are barrier to delivering objectives for 45% of charities: A survey looking at the impact of property management on charities has found that 45% believe issues relating to property are a barrier to delivering their objectives. This has increased significantly over the last four years, from 30% in 2018 and 17% prior to that in 2016. 

The Charity Property Matters Survey is conducted every two years by the Ethical Property Foundation, with the latest report finding that 49% of the charities polled feel they do not have a good understanding of property management, or a designated fund for repairs to property when needed (45%).

Over two-fifths of respondents (43%) said have no suitably skilled people to look after their properties (43%), which notes the report are typically a charity's second largest expense or outgoing and a core reason why many charity's fail.

More than half the UK charities polled (51%) said they believe property issues are a 'significant risk' to future sustainability. 

Six out of 10 charities pooled said they have experienced issues relating to the suitability of premises for their operations, with offices the most commonly used space (46%), followed by community/cultural centres (35%).

Impact of Covid-19 

Over 90% of the respondents polled in the survey had experienced interruption to the use of their premises as a result of Covid-19, with 60% reporting being unable to pay rent.

Looking at the types of property-related issues charities have experienced during the pandemic, 38% said they have seen a loss in revenue due to closure of properties visited by the public, while others have seen loss of rent (27%), loss of income due to  the closure of retail premises (19%), and additional costs of security for closed buildings (4%). Just under one in 20 (4%) said they have incurred additional costs due to buildings/contents insurance, while the same percentage said that have had 'additional service charges'.

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