Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Land and Property

13.3.1 Property and Equipment Groups and Explorer Units must be properly accommodated and equipped in order to carry out their training programmes. The Group's and Unit's administrators must concern themselves with all legal requirements relevant to the ownership of all property and equipment or to the leasing or hiring of premises. All freehold, leasehold or licensed land, with or without buildings, must be held by at least two and no more than four Holding Trustees appointed as specified unless title to the said land is held by a Custodian Trustee on behalf of the Scout Unit, for example The Scout Association Trust Corporation (SATC) or the Official Custodian for Charities. Holding Trustees of land must be appointed under either a Declaration of Trust or named as the Trustees in the relevant Conveyance, Lease, Licence or such other Deed, Transfer or other formal agreement as may be necessary in the circumstances. The SATC will hold land upon standard trusts which have been approved by the SATC’s legal advisers. Investments must also be held in the manner listed above under, with the exception being that the SATC is unable to hold such investments. The SATC can be appointed by Scout bodies to hold title to land as Custodian Trustee only and, as such, the SATC cannot have any responsibility for the decision-making or day-to-day management of the Scout body or its land. The SATC is also unable to negotiate land or property matters on behalf of Scout bodies. The SATC must be appointed through its proper procedure for which a standard fee is chargeable. Contact the SATC in writing at Gilwell Park, Chingford, London E4 7QW or at As Custodian Trustee, the SATC must obtain instructions regarding the land or property from a member of the relevant Scout body’s Trustee Board or a person or persons properly authorised by that Trustee Board to instruct the SATC. A suggested template for a Declaration of Trust suitable for local Trustees to declare Trust when intending to hold title to land, can be provided by The Scout Association’s Legal Services Department which should then be amended and checked by a local solicitor acting for the group, District or County to reflect the particular local circumstances.


13.3.2 Land The Group, District or County Trustee Board should obtain at least a formal written licence and preferably a lease of any land, with or without buildings, which they do not own and which is to be occupied for a substantial period. In any event, no large amount of capital should be expended on buildings or other improvements unless the group, District or County has at least seven years uninterruptible interest remaining in the said land. The Group, District or County Treasurer must ensure that all possible relief from rates is obtained.


13.3.3 Property - Sponsored Groups Agreements with Sponsoring Authorities identify property belonging to the Sponsoring Organisation and that belonging to the group. Property owned by the group as recorded in such agreements must be administered as required by these Rules.


13.3.4 Disposal of Property at Amalgamation The Model ‘Declarations of Trust’ referred to, contain certain provisions for the amalgamation of groups, Districts and Counties. The retiring Trustees of the group, District or County which are amalgamating must hand to the Trustees of the new group, District or County all documents of title and the keys to any buildings which the former had.


13.3.5 Disposal of Property at Closure The property of a Group, District or County which ceases to exist will automatically pass to the District Scout Council, County Scout Council or UK Headquarters as appropriate unless there is some pre-existing arrangement by which the property passes to another beneficiary. Any liabilities of a Group, District or County, e.g. an outstanding loan to UK Headquarters, utility bills etc. will also become the responsibility of the District Scout Council, County Scout Council or UK Headquarters as appropriate. Such property must be treated in the same way as other assets.


13.3.6 Joint Occupation of Premises by Scout and Guide Units A special Declaration of Trust, which must provide for the formation of a joint management committee, must be drawn up if the premises are to be owned and occupied jointly by Scout and Guide units. This does not apply if the premises are used jointly under licence or if the premises are occupied by other similar arrangements. A copy of an appropriate model Declaration of Trust can provided by The Scout Association’s Legal services department and which should be amended and checked by a local solicitor acting for the relevant Scout Unit to ensure it reflects local circumstances or any agreement with the said Guide Unit.