Sitting Tenant in a Church

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    Sitting Tenant in a Church

    I am a member of a church which was purchased circa 1987. Not long after acquiring the premises it was decided by the church board to have a nursery based there during the week. Over 20 years later we are in a sticky situation and are at pains to find a mutually agreed resolve. The nursery manager is also a member of the church and is very much aggrieved by the situation because there are some who do not accept the way the nursery have been allowed to operate, but this does not come without blame on the managers part. The understanding was that the nursery was a church nursery although it was never really promoted as such. The name was carefully chosen so as not to have an obvious affiliation to the church. There was no contract drafted at the inception of the nursery. As a result the nursery has never paid rent and has oftentime approached the church for financial support, this despite never reporting to the church about their performance or any other information to keep the church leadership abreast of their status. After much protest by some board members the nursery now pay for utilities used in the week (an additional boiler was fitted at the church's expense) they are responsible for paying for heat and part of the cost of electricity used whilst on the premises, although the nursery manager acknowledges that this and any other sporadic payments are not rent. Part of the problem is that there are church leaders who wholeheartedly support the nursery and have proved to be a thorn in the side of those who feel that the nursery should be self sufficient. They have been vocal in stating that as a church nursery the church is to be accountable for it without the church knowing how the nursery is performing. The nursery occupy the lower hall which cannot be used in the week for funeral services for late members etc. With the expansion in the number of children at the nursery they are taking up an increased amount of space which has made it very difficult to accommodate those who need a room to change clothing after a baptism and space for children to have their classes when the church services are being held. My question is where do we stand as a church and charity? If a contract is drawn up and the nursery manager refuses to sign it what is our next course of action? Will the fact that they have never paid rent be grounds to have them vacate the premises, or is it now a case of them having rights as a sitting tenant? And what are the possible financial implications for the church? Your advice on this matter is very much appreciated.

    #2
    Paragraphs..

    WWJD?

    Cheers!

    btw there seems to be a trend of churches/church trusts getting harder on their various tenants: Has there been a directive from above??
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      How have you obtained Ofsted registration given all the problems you have detailed. What was the result of your last inspection?
      Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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