Setting up and running a charity – guidance

Transfer charity land or property to the Official Custodian

How to ask the Official Custodian for Charities to hold the title to your charity's land on your behalf.

About the Official Custodian for Charities

Charity property must be registered in someone’s name. If your charity isn’t a company or CIO, it isn’t a ‘legal entity’ and can’t hold title itself.

Instead of registering land in your trustees’ names, you can transfer it to the Official Custodian for Charities – a free service that holds your land constantly in the same name regardless of who your trustees are. This is also known as ‘vesting’ land.

How to apply to transfer charity land to the Official Custodian

Apply online - the form takes about 15 minutes to complete. NHS charities can’t use this form - use the Charity Commission’s general enquiry form instead.

It is an offence under section 60(1)(b) of the Charities Act 2011 to knowingly or recklessly provide false or misleading information

What information to provide in the form

You will need to provide:

  • your registered charity number
  • clear evidence that your charity owns the property
  • details of the property you want the Official Custodian to hold on behalf of your charity
  • a Land Registry number if there is one
  • if it isn’t registered with Land Registry, a full description of the land or property including the postal address (if applicable)