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Using the SATC

What are the benefits of using the SATC?

The SATC serves some important functions for Scout Units.

It offers an easy and accessible alternative to help Units retain interest in their land. As Units are created as unincorporated charities, and not established as companies, they are unable to hold land in their own name. Units must appoint trustees to do this on their behalf. Trustees can be either local individuals or a company like the SATC.

If Units appoint local individuals, they are referred to as 'Holding Trustees' and Units will need to appoint at least two (and no more than four). It is recommended that Holding Trustees, who will be cited as parties in any land transaction, are not members of the Executive Committee of the Unit.

Holding Trustees will be entitled to be indemnified by the Unit against any liabilities arising, such as unpaid rents or repairs. However, as primary parties they will need to be cited in any land transactions or disputes. Units often find it difficult to find and appoint local Holding Trustees.

Using the SATC as a trustee

When Units lose a locally appointed Holding Trustee, they can face prolonged and expensive administrative processes to replace them and rectify documents. As the SATC holds title in its company name, Units are not faced with such an administrative burden.

The SATC offers continuity and reassurance to Units with safe, secure and centralised storage of their conveyances, leases and deeds. If documents are retained locally, there is a risk that they may be lost. The SATC offers a centralised system regardless of any changes to local volunteers/personnel.

The Unit retains all management responsibility for running itselfand any decisions regarding its land. The SATC's limited role is merely holding title to the land as Custodian Trustee.

Approximately 95% of Units with land interests appoint the SATC whose liability as Custodian Trustee is limited from the onset. In most cases, the SATC also ensures that the Unit's liability is also limited to the amount of that Unit's assets.

How much does it cost to appoint the SATC?

The current SATC acceptance fee is £500 +VAT or £450 +VAT (if a Unit’s property/land is insured through Scout Insurance Services Limited).

This represents a very fair contribution towards the costs of the work necessary on any given matter throughout its life including the safe custody of documents and other general legal advice that may be necessary. Also, where the SATC is undertaking the registration of the land the fee also covers registration with the Land Registry whereby the Unit is only required to pay the £50 Land Registry fee itself without any additional fee for the legal work involved e.g. a high street solicitor can charge in the region of £250 plus VAT for registration alone.

The fee is payable each time a Unit appoints the SATC, for example once for each given freehold title but each time a lease or licence is renewed. In order to save costs, the SATC encourages Units to secure as long a term lease as possible.

Are there any other SATC fees or costs?

In addition to the acceptance fee, the SATC also charges standard administrationand/or sealing fees for other land transactions that may be necessary, such as  granting leases or licences by the Scout Unit, other deeds or agreements dealing with easements or build agreements, sale of land or the surrender of leases or licences. Fee amounts are available on enquiry.

Does the SATC handle all matters relating to a Unit’s land?

The SATC fees do not cover negotiating the terms of sales, contracts, leases or similar. This is because in its Custodian role, the SATC must remain distinct throughout and cannot represent or act as solicitor for Units. As responsibility for the management of premises or land remains with the Executive Committee, only they will possesses the necessary local knowledge to enter into the relevant negotiations. The fees will also only cover the work required for registering the land (with HM Land Registry) where the SATC is actually undertaking this due to the group not having appointed a local solicitor in the matter at any time.  

In operating as a charity the Association is only able to provide a limited legal service to its members or Units through the Legal Services Department, which comprises two solicitors assisted by one legal executive and a secretary.

Furthermore, as there are approximately 8,500 Scout Units across England and Wales, the Legal Department is not logistically able to enter into negotiations or act as solicitor on behalf of Units or individual members.

How can you appoint the SATC?

For more information about appointing the SATC please contact us at trust.corporation@scout.org.uk or write to us at The SATC, Gilwell park, Chingford, London E4 7QW.

Some standard procedures required for appointing the SATC

Here are some standard SATC procedures often requested by Scout Units. These are provided as a general guide. Please note, as each matter will be different, you are advised to contact the SATC for further information regarding your particular matter.

1. Procedure for appointing the SATC for the first time (freehold land)

2. Procedure for appointing the SATC for the first time (lease)

3. Procedure for reappointing the SATC for renewal lease


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW