Lease/Hire of Property

Whenever a third party is permitted to use church premises, the risk of injury increases.  Similarly the risks increase when the Uniting Church uses third party property.  In both cases the users are less likely to know the property and its idiosyncrasies. On the positive side, having church property frequently used as opposed to being left vacant, reduces the chance of a break and enter due to the presence of people at the site deterring potential thieves and vandals.

There are some important insurance requirements and risk management strategies to consider, whenever looking to lease/hire church facilities to third parties or use non church facilities.

**Property Department must be consulted prior to entering into any lease/hire agreement with another party to hire their premises or services.  Any documentation received must be forwarded to Property Services – Property Administrator for analysis before progressing any further.**

1. Church Facilities

Part of the church’s role in maintaining its link within the local community is to make available the church hall or other facilities.  Apart from another obvious benefit of generating some income for the church, it also provides the benefit of having a presence on the premises, which can assist in deterring theft, vandalism & trespass.  However, this can also increase the risk of damage to the property or injury to persons occurring whilst (or as a result of) the premises being used.  We encourage the use of church properties, however, there are some important guidelines that need to be followed.

When hiring or leasing out church properties, a “Licence Agreement” must be completed at all times.  Please refer to “Conditions for Licence Agreement”.

Hirers/Users should be restricted to the specific area hired, toilets excepted.  Access to any other area must be limited without blocking/obstructing exits.

The minimum level of Public Liability Insurance required  differs according to the type of activity’s risk level:


$10 million

(eg. low impact fitness (such as yoga/Pilates), ballet dancing, ballroom dancing)


$20 million

(eg. med-high impact fitness (such as aerobics/zumba), break-dancing, martial arts, selling goods other than clothing)

Contact Uniting Church Insurance Services on 8236 4222 for confirmation and/or advice regarding the above limits.

For people wishing to hire/use property for own purposes or private functions (eg. birthday/wedding) we recommend, the organiser/user contact their own personal household insurer to check that their contents policy will cover them for their Legal Liability (arising from an incident where they are negligent and responsible, as hirer of the premises) for injury to other people or damage to others’ property.

If the services of a professional caterer will be utilised, we recommend attaining a current certificate of currency for Public Liability of $20 million from the caterer.

It is important to make sure you understand the purpose for which the property is being used and that it’s use is in accordance with Uniting Church ethos and Christian values.  If you are unsure, or have questions about the Uniting Church ethos or values, please contact Insurance Services.

2. Non-Church Facilities

Property Department must be consulted prior to entering into any lease/hire agreement with another party to hire their premises or services.  Any documentation received must be forwarded to Property Services – Property Administrator for analysis before progressing any further.


When conducting activities away from your church property, such as a town hall, school etc, an insurance “Certificate of Currency” for Public & Products Liability, may be requested by the property owner.  Please identify the $ limit of indemnity/liability required and advise Insurance Services when requesting the Certificate of Currency.  This Certificate is readily available from Insurance Services and is valid for the insurance period (1 November to 31 October the following year).

Activities that are of high risk must undergo a Risk Management assessment and be lodged with Insurance ServicesThe “General Risk Assessment” form provides is an assessment tool that complies with the Australian Standard AS4360.

3. Slips, trips and falls result in thousands of injuries every year.

Slips occur when a person’s foot loses traction with the floor.  The most common causes are slippery floor surfaces (eg. highly polished, wet or greasy) and inappropriate footwear.

Tripping occurs when a person unexpectedly catches their foot.  In most instances, the objects people trip on are small and unobtrusive, such as cracks in the floor or electrical leads.

Falls can result from a slip or trip, but many occur during falls from low heights, such as steps/ladders, stairs or curbs.

Good housekeeping is fundamental to preventing falls due to slips and trips.  To reduce the chance of accidents occurring, ensure:

  • obstacles are removed from pathways/walkways and are always kept free of clutter;
  • cords/cables are not left lying across pathways. If unavoidable, tape down along floor surface
  • mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat or move easily are secured (by tacking, taping, etc)
  • changes in floor levels and uneven floor surfaces are highlighted with tread markers
  • storage of boxes, files and items (as well as ease of access to these) are given good consideration
  • file cabinets or storage drawers are always closed
  • working areas and walkways/staircases are well lit
  • used light bulbs and faulty switches are replaced
  • all spills and wet areas are marked with signage and cleaned immediately
  • floors do not become slippery during wet weather
  • flooring kept in good condition

4. Men’s Sheds

The aim of Men’s Sheds is to provide a venue where men can come together and enjoy camaraderie by sharing a variety of tools; pursuing their interests in pastimes and hobbies; spending time with fellows of similar interests; learning new skills, using tools for the first time or keeping old skills honed and productive (eg. building toys for charity etc.).

Training and general Safety

Ensure participants are adequately trained to use tools and abide by safety provisions.  All operating instructions/procedures are to be clearly visible near stationery machinery.  Portable tools etc., to have clear usage instructions either located with the item wherever stored, or be clearly labelled that must refer to instructions (wherever located – eg in easily accessible folder).

Personal Protective Equipment

Ensure all personal protective equipment and guards are used where required.


There is a high risk of injury to children due to the types of tools contained in the sheds. Therefore, avoid allowing children on site.


Notify Insurance Services of the value of contents to ensure items are adequately covered.