Russell-Cooke has agreed to support the Ethical Property Foundation (EPF) with the fifth iteration of its bi-annual Charity Property Matters Survey.

The EPF is one of the largest property advice charities. Set up in 2004, it became the sole referral partner to the Charity Commission in 2015. A small in-house team of just over thirty property professionals including surveyors, solicitors and architects provide support to around 300 small charities and community groups.

As a leading player in the sector, Russell-Cooke combines its expertise in commercial and residential property and charity law to provide practical solutions to its clients.

The EPF's Charity Property Matters Survey is a national property survey aimed at the needs and challenges of the voluntary sector in England and Wales. Along with the general issues arising from public law, property law and health and safety regulations, charities also commonly face funding and clawback conditions, governance issues, political conditions and the potential loss of tax relief. Registered charities also increasingly find themselves scrutinised by their regulatory body, the Charity Commission.

The previous iteration of the survey, published in 2018, highlighted the financial pressures pushing charities towards commercial and private landlords. Considering rent still stands as the second largest expenditure for charities, the fifth iteration of the survey is more crucial than ever as a means to communicate with landlords, policy makers, civil servants and the media.

James McCallum, partner in the charity property team explained: "Property issues in the voluntary sector are no less complex than elsewhere, but resources to address those complexities can be limited. The services provided by EPF are therefore not only manifestly desirable but necessary. This survey provides a clear perception of the landscape in which property advice and support to the voluntary sector will be provided in the future. It is essential that such high-level information is available in order to strategically plan and focus resources where they are needed."

"The EPF is delighted that Russell-Cooke is supporting the 2020 survey", commented EPF CEO, Antonia Swinson. "It is easily forgotten that the UK voluntary sector is bigger than agriculture and fishing sectors combined, so the properties we work in really matter. This is important and timely research, because our sector has reached a crossroads: soaring demand for our services is occurring just as local authorities are ceasing to be our sector's default landlords".

The 2020 questionnaire will be launched on 22 January on the EPF website. Previous editions of the survey may also be found there. Respondents will have until 13 July to send in their submissions. The nationwide results will be published in November, with a London-specific edition to follow.