Seventy-five per cent of charities in the capital have not received property management training in the past three years, according to this year’s London Charity Property Matters Survey.
The research by the Ethical Property Foundation also shows that 61 per cent had no regular reporting to trustees on property matters and 60 per cent had no designated capital fund for property maintenance and repairs.
Just under half (46 per cent) believed they had a good level of knowledge and understanding of property and the same number had no suitably skilled individual with responsibility for property.
Of those asked, 42 per cent failed to make regular assessments of property service providers.
- 51 per cent of charities had suffered unforeseen costs of maintenance/repair.
- 45 per cent cannot find suitable, affordable premises.
- 41 per cent cannot afford access to professional advice.
- 36 per cent had difficulty in meeting the cost of compliance, Health & Safety, environmental standards, etc.
The research concludes: “The 2020 survey results reveal widespread weaknesses in charity capability in property management, partly due to a lack of in-house resources, and a lack of training and gaps in property knowledge and understanding. These weaknesses were reflected in a lack of strategy, inadequate monitoring and reporting and inadequate capital provision."
It adds: "The need for charities to improve their capacity to manage their property is even more pressing as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Restrictions on property use and requirement for safe workspaces present charities with major challenges. How to manage property effectively in this environment will be at the forefront of charity concerns in enabling successful, sustainable ongoing operations."
The survey was conducted principally online with some interviews by telephone to enhance the response rate. The 2020 survey ran from 22 January to 24 June and coincided with the period of the Covid-19 lockdown. The London sample comprised of 77 charities and included a wide diversity of charities.
The London Charity Property Matters Survey 2020 was undertaken as part of a national survey covering England and Wales, which has been carried out every two years since 2012.