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Can a Charity use its restricted funds for its general funding in the current circumstances?

Many charities have money that are considered restricted funds which are given to the charity or raised for a specific purpose.  The Charity Commission gives guidance on this, please see the link below. Depending on the circumstances in which these monies have been given to a charity or raised you may or may not be able to use them.

Monies raised in an appeal or specific fund raising campaign are unlikely to be available as it is likely to be impossible to get the permission of the donor to change the use.  If however you have had monies donated for a specific purpose and you can identify the donor you can use these funds for general overheads and to pay wages etc. if you receive the donor’s specific permission to do so.

Related FAQs

What perceived gaps do you see in the Building Safety Act 2022 (especially in terms of pending consultations and secondary instruments)?Comments on the value of the Martlet v Mulalley judgment in fire safety cases/unsafe cladding cases

The Act was obviously subject to much debate and criticism as the Bill passed through Parliament. It is difficult to properly assess any gaps until after the necessary secondary legislation has been published and comes into force (along with the remainder of the Act), but some of the likely issues include:

  • The impact on the insurance market, and the (lack of) availability and increased cost of insurance in light of the provisions of the Act
  • How the introduction of retrospective claims will affect the market, both in relation to how parties might go about trying to prove matters which are 30 years old, but also the lack of certainty for those potentially on the receiving end of these claims which they previously had by virtue of the Limitation Act provisions
  • Whether the definition of higher risk buildings is correct, or will require some refinement.

The Martlet v Mulalley case provides some useful observations and clarifications, for example that designers cannot necessarily rely on a ‘lemming’ defence that they were simply doing what others were doing at the time, that ‘waking watch’ costs are generally recoverable, and commentary on certain specific Building Regulations. The judgment however made clear that much of the case turned on its specific facts, so it is useful from the perspective of providing some insight as to how the Courts will deal with cladding disputes in future, rather than setting significant precedents to be followed.

How should I approach negotiations with my landlord?

Given the impact the Coronavirus is going to have upon the commercial property market, landlords will undoubtedly, as a matter of good commercial sense, will have to seriously entertain approaches from tenants seeking a rent suspension – notwithstanding there is no entitlement to the same under their lease.

Some landlords may decide it is better to waive or suspend rental payments over the short term rather than face their tenants going out of business and leaving them with an empty building in a flat or dead market.

A measure falling short of a rent suspension would be for the tenants to negotiate with their landlord’s monthly payments of rent rather than quarterly and for those monthly payments to be in payments arrears, rather than in advance.

The National Lockdown Guidance states that anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work. What options do I have if an employee is in the clinical extremely vulnerable category but cannot do their job at home?

The now defunct Guidance for the Tier system suggested that the clinically extremely vulnerable would be treated in the same way as those who were shielding in Lockdown 1. This means that anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot work remotely, will be entitled to SSP. These employees should receive a letter confirming that they are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable/shielding and you should ask for a copy of it as evidence to support a claim for SSP. It is likely that the Lockdown 3 Guidance will be the same.

You could also furlough an employee in the clinically extremely vulnerable category. Again we do not anticipate this changing.

I’m a social housing provider. What do I do if I know my tenants are flouting the social distancing guidelines?

If a tenant continues to refuse to take heed of the government’s social-distancing guidelines, for example by inviting large groups of people who do not reside there to their property, it can constitute a nuisance. One housing association successfully applied for an injunction. The injunction ordered by the Court stipulated that no persons, other than the children of the tenant, are to attend the property until the current social-distancing restrictions are lifted by the government.

A representative of the housing association highlighted the need for the current guidelines to be followed and the need for housing providers to ensure that all residents living in their communities are kept safe during this time of ‘unprecedented risk’.

This case demonstrates that flouting of the current restrictions is likely to be considered anti-social in the eyes of the courts – a point which all housing providers should bear in mind during this period. Further, it highlights the availability of an alternative remedy to the issuing of possession proceedings (in light of the government’s moratorium on evictions) to deal with anti-social behaviour during the next three months, Covid-19 related or not.

Are Public Bodies able to continue to pay contractors (and their supply chains) at risk as a result of Covid-19?

Yes: The Cabinet Office has published a number of Procurement Policy Notes to provide instructions to Public Bodies to enable payments to continue to be made to at risk suppliers (and their supply chains) who have been affected by Covid-19. Copies of this guidance can be obtained from the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19