Policy

Occupation of University Land and Buildings by Lease or Licence - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

The University receives many requests to give proposed Occupiers a right to occupy University land or buildings for various purposes and for varying periods of time. The objective of the University entering into agreements regarding such requests is to provide benefits to the University’s activities.  Proposals for the University to enter into an agreement with a proposed Occupier are encouraged to the extent that such agreements enhance the experiences of the University’s community. 

The procedures in document 7.50.01b must be followed to seek the University’s approval to a proposed agreement with a proposed Occupier.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

LLC - the Lease and Licence Committee, whose role is to manage the occupation of the University’s land and buildings in accordance with this policy.  The LLC is chaired by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and is comprised of representatives from the Property and Facilities Division, the Legal Office, Finance and Business Services and, by invitation, other representatives as required.

Occupier - the individual or entity which is granted the right to occupy University land or buildings in accordance with this policy.  Occupiers can include:

  • External companies or businesses;
  • Organisations which are related to the University but which are separate legal entities;
  • External organisations, including State or not-for-profit organisations; or
  • University clubs and associations.

Property Officer - the Property Officer, Property and Facilities Division.

3.  Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all requests to provide proposed Occupiers a right to occupy University land or buildings, including renewal of variation to an existing agreement.

4. Policy Statement

A proposal to grant the right to occupy any part of the University’s land or buildings to an Occupier must be thoroughly considered and properly documented.  It is imperative that any agreement is appropriately documented to avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements and to enhance clarity in relation to each party’s rights and obligations.

All arrangements for the occupation by any Occupier of the University land or buildings must be formally approved by the University and appropriately documented.

4.1  Initial discussions

Campus Management or representatives from the University’s Faculties, Schools, Centres, Institutions or Unions may hold initial discussions with proposed Occupiers and may participate in the development of a business case to support a request to grant the right to occupy certain parts of the University’s land or buildings. 

Campus management or representatives from the University's Faculties, Schools, Institutes or Unions are not authorised to make any representations on behalf of the University regarding the availability of areas, any proposed commercial terms or any other matters which may or may not be considered by the University when considering a business case.  It is important that Campus management or representatives from the University's Faculties, Schools, Institutes or Unions also make all proposed Occupiers aware that all discussions in relation to any potential agreement are made on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and are subject to the formal approval of the University.

All discussions regarding the availability of areas or the proposed allocation of areas to any proposed Occupiers must be brought to the attention of the Property Officer or any other member of the LLC as soon as possible.

4.2  Conflict of interest

Staff members of the University who hold a position with, are involved with or have a connection with the proposed Occupier must consider the University’s policies on conflicts of interest when interacting with the proposed Occupier.  Any person with a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest must declare it to the COO as soon as they become aware of the conflict or potential conflict.

5. New and Existing Agreements

The University will consider many factors before agreeing to grant a lease or a licence for the use of areas within the University’s land or buildings. 

Whether a proposed new arrangement amounts to a lease or a licence is a matter for legal interpretation and involves a consideration of technical issues.  The Legal Office should be contacted early in the negotiation process to provide advice on whether a lease or licence should be considered.  The Legal Office is also able to provide advice on the information which will be required for the drafting of an appropriate agreement.  Generally, it is the preference of the University to grant a licence only to any proposed Occupier.

Existing agreements which contain a clause for the review of the amount of rent or licence fee, or which contain a clause for the renewal of the term of the agreement must be brought to the attention of the LLC well prior to the date by which the review must be carried out by the University or right for renewal can be exercised by the Occupier.  The process for review or renewal will be managed by the LLC and all documentation prepared by the Legal Office under the direction of the LLC. 

Under no circumstances should the amount of any rent or licence fee be reviewed or any term be renewed for an agreement regarding the use of any area of the University’s land or buildings proceed without the knowledge of the LLC.

The procedures in document 7.50.01b must be followed regardless of whether a new arrangement is proposed or whether the amount of any rent or licence fee is reviewed or any term renewed under an existing agreement.

Custodians
General Counsel
Ms Connie Seeto

Procedures

Occupation of University Land and Buildings by Lease or Licence - Procedures

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1.  Purpose and Objectives

These procedures outline the process and steps to be followed to seek the University's approval to a proposed agreement with a proposed Occupier for the use of University land or buildings, including any renewal or variation to an existing agreement.

2.  Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

COO - Chief Operating Officer.

ISC - the Infrastructure Sub-Committee, whose role is to strategically plan and oversee the management of areas and facilities at the University.

LLC - the Lease and Licence Committee, whose role is to manage the occupation of the University’s land and buildings in accordance with this policy.  The LLP is chaired by the Chief Operating Officer and is comprised of representatives from the Property and Facilities Division, the Legal Office, Finance and Business Services and, by invitation, other representatives as required.

Occupier - the individual or entity which is granted the right to occupy University land or buildings in accordance with this policy.  Occupiers can include:

  • External companies or businesses;
  • Organisations which are related to the University but which are separate legal entities;
  • External organisations, including State or not-for-profit organisations; or
  • University clubs and associations.

Property Officer - the Property Officer, Property and Facilities Division.

3.  Procedures Scope/Coverage

These procedures apply to all requests to grant proposed Occupiers a right to use University land or buildings, including any renewal or variation to an existing agreement.

4.  Procedures Statement

4.1  Initial discussions

Campus Management or representatives from the University’s Faculties, Schools, Centres, Institutions or Unions may hold initial discussions with proposed Occupiers and may participate in the development of a business case to support a request to grant the right to occupy certain parts of the University’s land or buildings. 

Campus management or representatives from the University's Faculties, Schools, Institutes or Unions are not authorised to make any representations on behalf of the University regarding the availability of areas, any proposed commercial terms or any other matters which may or may not be considered by the University when considering a business case.  It is important that Campus management or representatives from the University's Faculties, Schools, Institutes or Unions also make all proposed Occupiers aware that all discussions in relation to any potential agreement are made on a ‘without prejudice’ basis and are subject to the formal approval of the University.

All discussions regarding the availability of areas or the proposed allocation of areas to any proposed Occupiers must be brought to the attention of the Property Officer or any other member of the LLC as soon as possible.

4.1.1  Conflict of interest

Staff members of the University who hold a position with, are involved with or have a connection with the proposed Occupier must consider the University’s policies on conflicts of interest when interacting with the proposed Occupier.  Any person with a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest must declare it to the COO as soon as they become aware of the conflict or potential conflict.

4.2  Availability and allocation of areas

The ISC considers the availability of areas of the University’s land and buildings for use by the University and proposed Occupiers.  The allocation of areas for use by proposed Occupiers is approved by the ISC or the COO by delegation.

4.3  Written proposal to LLC

Once the COO has approved the allocation of areas to a proposed Occupier, all proposed Occupiers are required to prepare and submit to the LLC a written proposal in relation to their request to occupy University land or buildings.

The proposal should clearly set out:

  • The details of the approval in principle for their allocation to an area, including details of the preferred location, size and type of areas required and the preferred duration of occupancy.
  • Background information about the proposed Occupier, including adequate information to demonstrate its capacity to conduct the proposed activity and including any other locations from which the proposed Occupier conducts similar activities.
  • The purpose for which the arrangement is being proposed.
  • A description of the benefit to the University of having the proposed Occupier occupy the preferred area, including direct and indirect benefits to undergraduate and post graduate programs and to the level of service and amenity to the University’s community.
  • A clear statement regarding the expected rent amount, and for the payment of additional costs such as cleaning and electricity costs.
  • The details of any fitout works, refurbishment or minor alterations proposed to be carried out to the area. Note: Such works will require prior written approval of the Director, Property and Facilities Division and are generally at the cost of the proposed Occupier. 
  • The details of any discussions that have been held with staff members from the University including the name, position and contact details of all representatives.
  • The endorsement of the relevant Executive Dean or relevant Senior University Manager. 

4.4  Commercial terms

All proposals are considered by the LLC.  Once endorsed, proposed commercial terms are prepared and recommended by the Property Officer with input from Finance and Business Services and UQ Union where appropriate. The Property Officer then conducts negotiations on the commercial terms with the proposed Occupier.

The COO, with advice from the LLC, must consider and approve the commercial terms at each stage of the negotiations.  The final terms, including in relation to an amount for rent, will be determined by the COO in consultation with the LLC.

4.5  Draft lease or licence agreement

Once commercial terms are agreed, the Property Officer arranges for the Legal Office to prepare a draft lease or licence agreement for consideration by the proposed Occupier. Drafting will continue until both the proposed Occupier and the University accepts the terms of the agreement.

When ready for signing, the Legal Office manages the process of signing by the authorised representatives of both parties, including signing on behalf of the University by the COO.

4.6  Approval by the COO

Under no circumstances can proposed Occupiers be permitted to proceed to occupy a proposed area or commence fitout works to the proposed area without formal approval being granted by the COO.

The Senate has granted the COO the formal authority to sign legal documents on behalf of the University.

Once the agreement has been signed the original document will be retained in the University’s records management system and a copy provided to the Property Officer for ongoing reference during its term.

5.  Questions

All questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Property Officer or to any member of the LLC.

Custodians
General Counsel
Ms Connie Seeto
Custodians
General Counsel
Ms Connie Seeto