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Can Parish Councils (Without General Power of Competence) charge rent on property/land?

0 votes

Parish Council's as we know have the right to acquire land/property, however, the Local Government Act isn't clear whether a parish council without the General Power of Competence can charge rent on these properties.

Our parish council have been offered a set of 4 houses (2 that come with paying tenants). To say our Clerk is uninterested is an understatement (Long story, lots of background), whereas the rest of the council are keen to take them on. The Clerk is telling us we have the power to acquire but not the right to obtain rent.

If the rent is for the good of the parish then my interpretation of the Local Government Act 1972 is that we can.

Could anyone please clarify and if possible signpost to the relevant legislation. Remember our PC does not have the general power of competence.

Thanks in advance

asked by (3.7k points)
edited by

2 Answers

0 votes
To be honest, I am not surprised if the clerk is not interested as being a landlord for 4 houses is quite a major job and not one that is typical of a Clerk's role.

if you had allotments, you would charge rent so I am not sure where they are getting their argument from about this matter.  That said, I would suggest that their objection is for another reason....
answered by (11.3k points)
Thank you. It’s quite a grey area.
I do know several councils who have property that they let and find it quite straight forward with the correct structure in place but they all how power of competence.
0 votes
One of my councils owns a residential property, formerly a tied cottage.  The original tenancy agreement was handled by a management company that then collected rent and managed the property on our behalf.  More recently, we've dispensed with the agent and deal directly with the tenant.  As long as the properties are kept in good order, there shouldn't be many maintenance issues, so the role isn't too onerous for the Clerk.  There is, however, always the potential for a bad tenant to cause problems.  We don't have GPoC.
answered by (17.4k points)
Interest thanks @DavetheClerk.
Can I ask if anything has been said by your Auditor/Legal representative about this?

Personally I see absolutely no reason why a council can't charge rent on the owned property if it has the power to acquire land and property. However, we have one Councillor who 'knows everything' but actually knows nothing and does nothing apart from unneccessarily pooping on other peoples proactiveness

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