Employers are having to walk a fine line between protecting their interests whilst also ensuring that they are not breaching their employees’ rights.
Our experienced team of solicitors can advise and support charities in all aspects on the use of religious buildings from identifying who has legal ownership, to use of the asset, through to regulatory issues and ownership disputes.
Ownership of religious buildings, such as churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, chapels and other buildings or meeting places used for religious purposes, can sit with individuals, groups of trustees, or holding bodies. If there is a dispute over the ownership of a religious building our experienced team of solicitors work in partnership with you to resolve the dispute as efficiently and effectively as possible. We provide advice and support through the process, through to resolution through mediation or representation in court proceedings.
We also provide advice and support on the use of religious buildings, their management and disposal. The Equality Act generally prevents a person or organisation in control of a building discriminating against a person or group wanting to use those premises. This includes who you rent them to, whether on a long- or short-term let and who you sell them to.
There is an exemption under the Act that could allow a church or other religious building to refuse to let or sell its premises to some people or groups. However, if the decision was challenged, the church or other religious building would have to show that the exemption had been satisfied.
Our use of religious buildings service
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we use our extensive sector knowledge to take a sensitive approach to advising faith-based charities on the use of their religious building, whether a church, mosque, temple, synagogue, chapel or other buildings or meeting place used for religious purposes, including:
- Advice and support in relation to the ownership of religious buildings and ownership disputes.
- Advice and support on tenancy agreements and hiring agreements.
- Ensuring compliance with the Equality Act and other relevant regulations.
- Advice on the sale of all or part of a religious building or land.
- Advice on development and construction issues in relation to religious buildings.
- Advice on business rates reliefs that the religious building may be entitled to.
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