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A lease renewal is, in effect, entering into a new lease, albeit continuing the tenancy of the same premises. A renewal lease must be drafted and negotiated, perhaps based on the same terms as the previous lease.

There is a set SATC procedure for lease renewals. In particular, the SATC must be reappointed for each renewal lease. The matter to be placed before the SATC Board for acceptance, with the Scout Unit having to pay an SATC acceptance fee.

Role of the SATC

The SATC is a company created to hold title to land as a Custodian Trustee on behalf of Scout Units. Although it was initiated by The Scout Association, the SATC is not owned or controlled by the Association and has its own separate Board of Directors.

The SATC aims to take the burden from Scout Units having to find individual local 'Holding Trustees' to hold title to their land whilst also ensuring continuity and ease of administration. The SATC holds approximately 5,000 properties in this way.

It must be stressed that as Custodian Trustee the SATC cannot and does not have any responsibility for the management of the Scout Unit or its premises/land, including making any decisions regarding the land. This remains the responsibility of the Executive Committee of the said Scout Unit, also referred to as the 'Managing' or 'Charity' Trustees.

The SATC is a signatory to any substantive transaction relating to the Scout Unit's land and can only undertake this where matters/documentation comply with charity and other laws. Please note, the SATC requires that certain standard clauses confirming its role are inserted wherever necessary (see further below).

If a Scout Unit wishes to reappoint the SATC to hold title to the new leasehold premises, the matter must be placed before the SATC Board.  This is done by email at set times, usually the last week of the month. The Unit must comply with the preliminary matters (see below) for the matter to be placed before the SATC. 

Unless there are particular questions arising, the SATC will accept custodian trusteeship and give permission for the documents to be finalised as when they arise, so long as all the proper checks and balances are put in place.

a) Letter of Request

The Scout unit will have to formally request the SATC to act as Custodian Trustees in relation to the land. This will need to be done by sending us a Letter of Request, preferably completed by the Scout Unit's Secretary and returned to us.

As you will see, the said Letter records the Resolution whereby the Scout unit's Executive Committee agreed:

(i) to reappoint the SATC to hold title as Custodian Trustee

(ii) that the named Scout Unit take the formal legal interest in the land

(iii) that the Scout Unit, as opposed to the SATC, will be fully responsible for the management of the premises/land. As the SATC can only act as Custodian Trustee in relation to the land, it cannot be held responsible or any liabilities arising thereof.

(b) Background information

When returning the Letter of Request, the Scout Unit should also send us a brief background outlining the history of the matter up until now, the address, purchase/rent price and any other relevant background information.

(c) Agreed draft lease or agreed Heads of Terms

The main terms, as agreed with the landlord, must also be forwarded to us. This may be in the form of draft lease or agreed Heads of Terms etc

Once the SATC Board has agreed to act as Custodian Trustee, the Scout Unit will have to pay an acceptance fee of £500 plus VAT or £450 plus VAT (if the Scout Unit insures its building through Scout Insurance Services). 

The SATC acceptance fee is payable after the SATC accepts trusteeship. We will request the fee as and when it becomes due. The SATC acceptance fee is payable each time the Scout Unit appoints the Board to act as Custodian Trustee, which will include lease renewal.

The Scout unit is responsible for both the surveyor and legal fees and not the SATC. However, we advise that due to the charitable nature of Scout Units, such costs be passed onto the buyer/other party wherever possible with the agreement recorded in writing at the initial stages.

The SATC will require its standard SATC clauses (Leasehold) to be incorporated into the lease in order to sign and seal documents and act as Custodian Trustee. The Scout Unit should send these clauses to the Landlord or, if it has one, its solicitor.

Our Legal Department's role

Our legal department acts as solicitor for the SATC. However, due to the large number of Scout Units in the UK (approx. 8,500), the volume of work involved and our location, we are unable to review leases comprehensively or act as solicitor for individuals or Scout Units. We are only able to provide general legal advice in this respect.

If the Scout Unit has concerns about the terms of the lease then they should either negotiate directly with the Landlord or instruct a local solicitor to do so. In property matters it is highly advisable to obtain full and proper legal advice. The Scout Unit is responsible for any legal or surveyor costs and not the SATC. Any solicitor appointed by the Scout Unit should then liaise with us to keep us updated as to progress.