Operating Effectively 208: Real Estate Basics

What You'll Learn

Chances are, if you operate a faith-based nonprofit, your organization either owns or rents real estate. This skills course gives a basic understanding of the rights of religious organizations when dealing with real estate, as well as an introduction to some aspects of lease agreements, considerations when building or renovating on your organization’s property, and other legal issues that are common for religious organizations when dealing with real estate issues. This will help you to identify situations where you may need to create or improve real estate-related contracts, as well as situations where you may want to speak to an attorney.

Lesson 1

Assemblies & Institutions: RLUIPA’s Overlooked Requirement

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) was enacted to combat widespread discrimination against individuals and institutions seeking to use land for religious purposes. Unfortunately, discriminatory zoning codes are still a reality today. One such reality involves religious individuals or organizations seeking to use property for transitional homes, women’s shelters, or places of respite. These uses may be religious, but to bring the organization within RLUIPA’s protection, the organization must demonstrate its eligibility. Without a clear characterization as a place of worship, institution sponsored by a place of worship, or institution affiliated with a place of worship, RLUIPA may not clearly protect an institution. This whitepaper will seek to educate individuals and organizations on best practices — in operations, documentation, and beyond — to qualify for RLUIPA protections.

Lesson 2

Informing Religious Organizations on Making Wise Land Use Decisions

Has your faith-based nonprofit ever considered buying, building, or developing real estate? If so, you know real estate can present a major issue for religious organizations. A minefield of permits, applications, and meetings may stand between you and the property that will allow your organization to best accomplish its mission. The federal government passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), which addresses some of these difficulties for religious organizations. A little information about land use and RLUIPA can go a long way in helping your organization to flourish. This whitepaper aims to educate religious organizations seeking to buy or build buildings and property for their organization and help them avoid costly obstacles when seeking building permits, special use permits, variances, or other rezonings.

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14