Letting church buildings

07 September 2019

Many churches play a vital role in their community and earn an income by offering their premises for hire to local clubs and classes.

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Hiring the premises

It is important to ensure that your premises are safe and suitable for the intended use and this should form part of your health and safety policy. You can use our template health and safety document to identify any risks and improvements. 

Whenever you hire out the premises, a formal booking agreement should be made which outlines the conditions of hire and the responsibilities of both parties. 

Public liability insurance

Public liability cover is provided under our Church Insurance policy. It will indemnify the trustees and deacons as property owners if held legally liable for accidental injury to members of the public or accidental damage to their property whilst the premises are being hired.   

Your insurance does not extend to indemnify the outside hirers.  
Make sure that any hirers have public liability insurance in place when using your building - whether they pay you rent, give you a donation or use the premises for free.  
Outside organisations which operate regularly will often have insurance cover in place. Any individuals who are hiring the premises for private events, such as birthday parties, should also have insurance cover in place. They should check in with their household insurer to understand if their cover would include the organising of such an event. 
You can check that outside user groups have public liability cover in place by asking to see a copy of their insurance certificate. Outside user groups who are uninsured should not be allowed to hire your premises.  

Loss of income

Hiring your church buildings and grounds can be a good source of income for the church. However, if the premises are seriously damaged, such as by a fire, normal use of the building may have to cease whilst repairs are undertaken. 

Church insurance from Baptist Insurance includes cover for income associated with an insured event, e.g. fire. If you are not able to hire the premises or you incur additional costs in seeking alternative facilities for user groups, such losses would be covered under the loss of income section available under our Church Insurance policy. 
Your policy schedule will confirm whether or not you have currently opted to include this cover. If you have any queries about the hiring of church premises, please call and talk to our team on 0345 070 2223
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