Once an asset is listed
What happens when the owner wants to sell the asset?
Owners intending to enter into ‘relevant disposals’ (which includes some types of sale) must notify us in advance, a six week interim moratorium period will then begin on the day the owner notifies us of their intention. We will then update the list to show the interim and full moratorium dates. We will publicise the notification and invite ‘community interest bodies’ who wish to be treated as potential bidders to come forward with an ‘expression of interest’.
During the interim moratorium period, eligible community interest groups may request (and it must be in writing) to be treated as a potential bidder of the asset; this will bring the full moratorium period into force. This ‘expression of interest’ does not need to include any financing details, nor does it bind the community interest group into making a bid.
The ‘community interest group’ must have a local connection and be either; a charity, a community interest company, a company limited by guarantee that is non-profit distributing or a co-operative and community benefit society that is non-profit distributing.
The full moratorium period runs for six months from the date the owner notified us of their intention to dispose of the asset. This will give community interest groups an opportunity to, for example, raise funds and make an offer to the owner.
During the interim or full moratorium period, the owner can continue to market and negotiate the sale of the property. However, unless an exempt disposal applies, the owner can only dispose of the asset to a community interest group. A community interest group which bids for the asset does not have to be the same community group which nominated the asset and/or activated the full moratorium.
After the interim or full moratorium period has expired (as applicable), the owner will have an 18 month protected period (from the date when they notified us of their intent to dispose), where no further moratorium periods can be triggered. During the protected period, the owner can dispose of the asset to whoever they wish.
Once the protected period has expired, the whole cycle begins again where the owner intends to enter into a ‘relevant disposal’.
Local authorities are required to include the ‘community asset’ in its local land charges register, and if the land is registered, apply for a restriction on the title register maintained by the Land Registry.
When a listed asset is disposed of, and a new owner applies to the Land Registry to register a change of ownership of a listed asset, the Land Registry will need a certificate from a conveyancer confirming that the disposal (and any previous disposals if this is the first registration) did not contravene section 95(1) of the Localism Act (the moratorium requirements).
If a non-compliant disposal of a listed asset occurs, the transfer will be ‘void’, meaning that the change of ownership has not taken place. If the transfer has been erroneously registered on the title it will still be void, and would have to be rectified. This penalty will not apply if the owner was unaware through no fault of their own that the land was listed when it was sold.
Owners are encouraged to seek independent legal advice.
Private owners may claim compensation from us for losses and expenses incurred which would not have occurred if the land had not been included on the list.
The Regulations provide that this will specifically include a delay in entering into a binding agreement to sell, which is wholly caused by the moratorium period; or legal expenses incurred in a successful appeal to the Tribunal.
A compensation claim must be made by the owner within whichever is the earlier of 13 weeks from the end of the interim or full moratorium period (as appropriate), or from the date when the land ceased to be listed.
Claims must be made in writing to us, stating the amount of compensation sought and providing the necessary supporting evidence. The burden of proving the claim will fall upon the owner.
We will consider the validity of the claim as soon as practical and will give written reasons for the decision.
An owner who is dissatisfied with our response to their compensation claim can appeal for an internal review of the claim within eight weeks of being notified of our decision. The owner can ask for a review of the decision and/or the amount of compensation awarded.
The process for the review will be the same as for a listing review.
An owner who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review of their compensation claim can appeal for a Tribunal review within 28 days of being notified of the internal review decision.
When will an asset be removed from the list?
A property will be removed from the List of Assets of Community Value if;
- it has been on the register for five years;
- the owner has been successful in a listing review;
- the owner has demolished the listed asset;
- we deem the listed asset to no longer be of ‘community value’.
A property will be removed from the list of land nominated by unsuccessful nominations if it has been on the list for five years.
When a property is removed from either list, we will release a statement setting out the reasons for the removal. We will seek to notify the owner, any leaseholders and the nominator of the statement. In the case of an asset being de-listed, we will also notify the Land Registry.