Property Services is here to help you with:
- leasing to other bodies
- leasing from other bodies
- residential leases
- commercial leases
- licence agreements (an agreement used where another person or organisation wishes to have non-exclusive use of church property either from time to time or on a once-off basis)
Non-residential leasing of Uniting Church property- General information
Our church properties have great spaces to hire out for meetings, community groups, craft groups, other churches, wedding receptions, birthday parties and much more. Additionally, there are spaces that may be leased to organisations on an exclusive basis. It is a great way to build or maintain links with the local community as well as the obvious benefit of the generation of income for the church and having a presence or additional presence on the church premises.
Non-residential leasing of church property generally falls into four categories:
|Use of church property||Description||Agreement||Property management responsibility|
|Non-exclusive use||Where another person/organisation has non-exclusive use of church property regularly or from time to time OR on a once-off basis||Licence Agreement – Non-Exclusive, provided by Property Services||Church Council|
|Partial exclusive use||Where another person/organisation has some exclusive use of church property together with shared spaces||Licence Agreement – Exclusive, |
prepared individually by Property Services
|Commercial lease (exclusive use)||Where another person/organisation has full exclusive use of a part of the church property or a shop premises on a commercial basis||Commercial lease & Disclosure Statement, documents prepared by solicitor via Property Services||Agent|
|Peppercorn lease (exclusive use)||Where another person/organisation has full exclusive use of a part of the church property on a peppercorn basis||Commercial lease & Disclosure Statement, |
documents prepared by solicitor via Property Services
Non-exclusive use of church propertiesWhen hiring out church premises, a Licence Agreement must be completed by the congregation as follows:
- provided by Property Services
- provided as a ‘short form’ (simple agreements, one off hire etc) or a ‘long form’ (allows for specific conditions, keys provided etc)
- Licence Agreements are updated regularly (at least annually)
- maximum term for the agreement is 12 months and can be renewed by mutual agreement
- users (with some exceptions) must provide evidence of current Public Liability Insurance
- Licence Agreements are signed by the Church Council or nominee.
Partial exclusive use
Licence Agreements – Exclusive can be provided when some space is shared as follows:
- prepared individually by Property Services
- Licence Agreements are signed by Property Services on behalf of the Property Trust
- users (with some exceptions) must provide evidence of current Public Liability insurance
- used for low cost hiring with some shared space• some outgoings may be paid by Lessee.
Commercial lease (exclusive use)
Commercial leases with another organisation are generally as follows:
- congregations apply via application to Property Service
- Memorandum of Lease and Disclosure Statement prepared by solicitor through Property Services
- lease documentation executed under Common Seal of the Property Trust
- users must provide evidence of current Public Liability insurance
- leases can be registered on the Certificate of Title
- costs of preparation and execution of the lease are borne equally by landlord and tenant
- outgoings paid by Lessee
- under Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 where annual rental is below $400,000 and premises are shop premises.
- all commercial leases in name of the legal entity The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.).
Peppercorn lease (exclusive lease)
A peppercorn lease is a lease with a very small amount of money (eg $1) paid by the lessee if demanded by the lessor to legalise the arrangement to rent the premises. Outgoings are paid by the Lessee.
Leases, agreements & contracts
All legal documentation must be in the name of the Property Trust - not in the name of the Congregation (congregation has beneficial ownership only - it is not a legal entity).Back to top ^
A Licence Agreement should be used where another person or organisation wishes to have non-exclusive use from time to time of church property. It should be used even if the property is only required for one occasion. This agreement is provided by the Uniting Church congregation to the User (hirer). The agreement is available from Property Services to congregations.
The maximum term for the agreement is 12 months but it can be renewed for a further term by mutual agreement. This ensures that all licences are reviewed at least once a year.
It can be signed on behalf of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.) by the Chairperson of congregation's Church Council or a Local Authorised Officer (someone delegated by Church Council to sign this document).
Congregations need to ensure that the 'Instructions for evacuating the building and safe assembly points are clearly communicated and displayed in the building' as stated in the licence agreement special notes on page 2.
The Church's Public Liability Insurance covers only the activities of the Uniting Church and church groups. Non-Uniting Church organisations need to be aware of the risk they take if they do not have their own Public Liability Insurance. Long term users must produce evidence of current public liability insurance at the time of entering this agreement and maintain this insurance for the term of the licence agreement. A minimum of $20 million cover is required. Large events may need to be referred to Uniting Church Insurance Services.
Only "Sit and Talk" type groups will be considered for an exemption from the requirement to produce notification of the User's Public Liability Insurance. Application forms for exemption are available from Insurance Services or Property Services. Non-Uniting Church organisations and casual users need to be aware of the risks they take if they do not have their own Public Liability insurance.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Licence Agreement or if you have any questions.Back to top ^
Leasing management Leasing management includes:
- searching for tenants
- advertising the property for lease
- negotiating the terms and conditions with prospective tenants
- collect from tenant first instalment of rental, bond and any other monies due to the Landlord at the commencement of the lease
- complete and serve forms and notices as required by the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 (including Disclosure Statement).A leasing manager has knowledge of the current market and can advise the lessor accordingly.
Property management is the operation, control and oversight of a commercially leased property including:
- leasing management as per above
- ongoing negotiation with tenants regarding the lease
- invoicing lessee for rental and outgoings including GST
- collection of rental and outgoings
- collection of rental and outgoings in arrears, including letters of demand
- CPI increases
- review to market as per the lease
- managing maintenance and repairs• budgets
- advises lessor regarding responsibilities as per the lease (eg which issues are of a capital nature and therefore the lessors responsibility unless specified otherwise in the lease)
- knowledge of legal and financial obligations
- experience regarding risk and obligations• regular inspections
- monitoring leases
- following up lessee’s obligations
- following up lessor’s obligations.
Commercial leasing requirements and obligations
The requirements and obligations are found in:
- Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995
- Retail and Commercial Leases Regulations 2010
- The leasing requirements include both legal and financial obligations and include:
- Provision of copy of proposed lease to any prospective lessee when negotiations begin, including an estimate of outgoings• Appropriate lease documentation in written form
- Disclosure Statement prepared by a solicitor • Various requirements if the lease is situated in a retail shopping centre
- Provision of audited statements for outgoings annually (within 3 months after end of accounting period)• Lessees in a shopping centre have preferential right of renewal when lease expires
- Provision of estimate of outgoings one month before each accounting period• Leases must be for a minimum of 5 years including any options to renew
- Apportionment of maintenance costs.
Commercial Leasing Policy
The Commercial Leasing Policy covers the requirement that all commercial leases (excluding peppercorn or low value leases) require property management by an agent, unless the Church Council or Uniting Church organisation is granted exemption by Property Services.
Commercial Leasing Policy (290 kb PDF)Back to top ^