Previously it was prudent to be clear on the properties that were available for asset transfer and how requests from community groups for properties not identified as surplus would be dealt with. With the Community Empowerment Act 2015 a Register of Land must be available both online and in hard copy, identifying all properties owned or leased by the relevant authority - this is a legal requirement.
Key considerations include:
- has the authority carried out an audit of all its properties with a detailed assessment of the condition of the fabric?
- publication of the Register of Land, including by website;
- preparation for the production of annual reports on asset transfer after the Act has come into force;
- asset balancing - where assets that have value for the local community but may not, in the current climate or due to existing commitments or burdens, be viable, are transferred along with other assets with higher earning potential, for example, a community centre and one or two car parks;
- consideration of the information to be provided to communities who have made an asset transfer request.