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Readers' forum: Ecclesiastical purposes

23 September 2019
Issue: 4713 / Categories: Forum & Feedback
VAT dilemma for charity renting property.

I act for a charity client which owns a leasehold property (990 years). The charity occupies the property and it is wholly used for religious activities. Interestingly it has not got permission to use the building for this purpose but the landlord accepts the situation without any problem. For the early years of the lease an annual peppercorn ground rent of £10 is being charged to the charity. However in 2032 the ground rent is due to be reviewed and current estimates are that it will rise to between £40 000 and £60 000 a year with further reviews every seven years thereafter.

The charity has reached an agreement with the landlord to pay £500 000 now to remove all rent reviews for the full term of the lease. In other words the annual ground rent will be £10 a year for the full term. The...

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