RENTAL POLICY FOR COUNCIL-OWNED LAND AND COUNCIL-MANAGED LAND

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1 RENTAL POLICY FOR COUNCIL-OWNED LAND AND COUNCIL-MANAGED LAND DOCUMENT CONTROL Managed by: Corporate Status: Approved Responsible position: Director Corporate Contact number: Date approved: 19 November 2013 Version: 3 File number: Approved by: Council Next review date: 01 July 2015 Security classification: Public

2 CONTENTS 1. PURPOSE POLICY STATEMENT...3 Expressions of interest and public advertising... 3 Duration of tenancy (including any options clauses)... 4 Assessment of rent payable... 4 Commercial and private rentals... 4 No obligation to renew RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE SCOPE OF POLICY REFERENCES / ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS PRIVACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CONSIDERATION DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS SUPPORTING PROCEDURES / GUIDELINES...7 REVISION HISTORY (Completed by Governance Officer) Revision Ref. No. Approved/ Amended/ Rescinded Date Council / Management ECM Document Reference Original Approved 7/03/2006 Council Approved 6/10/2009 Council Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 2 of 7

3 1. PURPOSE This policy establishes the principles to be applied for the leasing and licencing of nonresidential Council-owned or Council-managed land to other parties. 2. POLICY STATEMENT The leasing and licencing of Council-owned land and Council-managed land will be subject to a fair and transparent process. Legislative compliance, community benefit considerations and maximising the financial return on Council s assets will be the fundamental principles guiding Council s issuance or renewal of leases and licences. The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has adopted and published a policy entitled Leasing Policy for Crown Land in Victoria. The DEPI policy requires all committees of management, including municipal authorities such as Council, to lease and licence Crown land through a transparent, fair and impartial process to ensure that the community benefits from improved social and economic outcomes without detriment to public land values. Council is equally committed to achieving these objectives in its leasing and licencing activities. Five principles have been adopted to provide a consistent framework for the leasing and licencing of Council-owned and Council-managed land. The five leasing principles are that leases and licences must: 1. Provide demonstrated community and/or economic benefit; 2. Be subject to an approval in principle requirement: Before there can be an agreement or commitment to lease new Council or Crown land, the proposal needs to be further developed in the form of a detailed submission to Council, its delegated officer or the Minister (or the Minister s delegate, where applicable) for approval in principle. Once approval in principle to lease has been granted, final lease negotiations can be undertaken; 3. Be developed and approved through a transparent lease allocation process; 4. Be subject to appropriate terms and conditions, including rental payable; and 5. Be subject to consistent lease documentation for similar uses and occupation types across the Shire. Expressions of interest and public advertising A competitive expression of interest process will be conducted to guide the issuance or renewal of wholly commercial leases and licences. Such expressions of interest will be conducted broadly in accordance with the equivalent processes established under Council s Procurement Policy for the award of contracts by public tender. Where the Director determines that there may be competing interests for a particular community rental lease or licence, a limited expression of interest process will also be conducted to guide the issuance or renewal of that lease or licence. In the interests of transparency, the issuance and renewal of all leases and licences, other than those which are to be issued or renewed as a direct result of an expression of interest process, will be advertised publicly to seek written comments in relation to the issuance or renewal. Executive Group will then consider any written submissions received in response to the Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 3 of 7

4 advertising process, to determine the appropriate course of action, having considered the relative economic and/or community benefits offered by any competing submitters. Duration of tenancy (including any options clauses) The duration of leases and licences will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will take into account the intended and future use of the land, any other interested parties, capital investment and economic benefit including employment. The duration of leases over Council-owned land will be for a term of not more than 50 years, and for not more than 21 years for Council-controlled Crown land. Within these parameters, the duration of tenancies will be determined on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the intended and future use of the land, any other interested parties, capital investment and economic benefit including employment. Licences issued over Council-managed Crown land will be for a term not exceeding nine years, in accordance with provisions of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act Licences may be issued over Council-owned land for a term of not more than 50 years. Any lease or licence with a term of 10 years or longer, or with a total rental value of $50,000 or more, is subject to the requirements of section 190 of the Local Government Act 1989, approval by a resolution of Council and a formal public submissions process. Assessment of rent payable Council will regularly invoice tenants in respect of rental moneys due. Persistent non-payment of rental will result in enforcement action being undertaken in accordance with the terms of the relevant lease or licence. Rental amounts payable for the occupation of Council-owned and Council-managed land will be determined in accordance with the table below. Property usage type: Primarily commercial or private use; (includes government agencies, except State Emergency Service, as well as occupations generating significant income from the sale of food and beverages) Community use - not for profit organisation with no, or minimal, commercial income; (includes State Emergency Service and not-for-profit organisations using premises primarily for the provision of childcare and/or kindergarten services) Incorporated committee of management facilitating multiple community user groups Rental basis: Current market rate as determined by independent formal valuation or competitive public expression of interest process (and not less than two times the annual community rental) Annual community rental, equivalent to that assessed by Department of Environment and Primary Industries (currently, $114.40) Nil refer to Annual Allocations Policy 2013 (Committees of Management over Facilities / Recreation Reserves / Community Halls) Commercial and private rentals The rent payable for primarily commercial, private, non-community purposes (including government use, other than State Emergency Services, as well as occupations generating significant income from the sale of food and beverages) will be determined in accordance with a formal valuation conducted by a registered valuer engaged by Council officers. The rental will Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 4 of 7

5 be adjusted annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Melbourne. There may be circumstances where the market rate is adjusted based on a requirement for structural maintenance or capital improvements to be completed by the tenant for a cash equivalent value. Rent payable is to be reviewed by formal valuation at least every three years. Following a formal valuation for an existing lease a tenant may, at the tenant s own expense, obtain an independent valuation where there is disagreement between the tenant and Council over the valuation. Where there is still disagreement, the matter will be settled by a conference of valuers, with the cost of the conference to be shared equally between the tenant and Council. At the Director s discretion, a discount may be applied to the value of a rental figure determined by a formal valuation but only in circumstances where it is reasonable to believe that it will not be possible to secure a suitable tenant willing to pay the rental as determined. Alternatively the Director may, where it is reasonable to do so, determine that the rental payable under a particular occupation is likely to be at such a low level as to render the commissioning of a formal valuation financially unviable. In such circumstances the Director may determine the rental payable, after taking into account the principles of this policy and all other relevant information. In no circumstances will the rental charged for a commercial/private occupation be less than two times the equivalent community rental as determined by this policy (i.e. not less than 2 x $ = $ per annum, as of August 2013). No obligation to renew To the extent permitted by law, Council is not obliged to enter into or renew a lease or licence with any party. 3. RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE The following Council officers are responsible for the implementation and compliance monitoring of this policy: Party / Parties: Property and Risk Officer Senior Property Officer Property and Risk Coordinator Manager Property and Risk Director Corporate Roles and responsibilities: To oversee the issuance of leases and licences in accordance with this policy. Provides strategic oversight of Council s property leasing and licencing portfolio, formulates solutions to complex occupancy issues and provides recommendations to Director Corporate, Executive Group and Council in accordance with this policy. Overall responsibility for policy implementation and compliance. Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 5 of 7

6 4. SCOPE OF POLICY The policy applies to all new leases and licences over Council-owned and Council-managed land and to leases and licences falling due for renewal after the policy approval date. Lease and licence commitments existing at the time of policy inception (including options clauses) will be honoured. The policy does not apply to community markets held on Council-owned or Council-managed land, provided the markets are organised by a not-for-profit organisation and do not occur more than 12 times within a calendar year. Community markets occurring not more than 12 times per calendar year must instead be subject to an events permit issued by Council s Community Laws unit. 5. REFERENCES / ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS Department of Environment and Primary Industries ( DEPI ) policy Leasing Policy for Crown Land in Victoria (including any amendment or replacement document) Council Plan Committee of Management agreements between Council and the respective Committees Annual Allocations Policy 2013 (Committees of Management over Facilities / Recreation Reserves / Community Halls) available on the website Instrument of delegations, Chief Executive Officer to staff Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1989 Land Act 1958 Retail Leases Act 2003 Crown Land Reserves Act PRIVACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS CONSIDERATION Personal information collected by Council in connection with this Policy will be handled in accordance with all applicable privacy legislation and will be used only for related purposes. This policy has been assessed as compliant with the obligations and objectives of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act DEFINITIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS Term: Commercial Community benefit Council Meaning: An occupation which, by its nature, could reasonably be expected to generate a profit Economic, social and environmental benefits that accrue to the wider community Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 6 of 7

7 Council-managed land Council-owned land DEPI Director Executive Group Expression of Interest Formal valuation Lease Licence Not-for-Profit organisation Private use Tenant Land managed, but not owned, by Council; for example Crown land over which Council is designated committee of management. May include buildings located on this land Land owned by Council. May include buildings located on this land Department of Environment and Primary Industries (formerly the Department of Sustainability and Environment) The Council Director with responsibility for property leases and licences Council s senior executive management team A competitive public process in which submitters are invited to bid for the right to hold a lease or licence over Council-owned or Council-managed land A valuation undertaken by a person registered to do so under the Valuation of Land Act 1960 An agreement for the occupation of land and/or buildings which grants exclusive rights of occupation to the tenant An agreement for the occupation of land and/or buildings which does not grant exclusive rights of occupation to the tenant An organisation that provides a demonstrated community benefit and does not operate for the profit, personal gain or other benefit of particular people. An organisation does not fail to be not-for-profit if it simply provides a benefit to a member while genuinely carrying out its primary purpose of benefitting the wider community An occupation of a private nature which provides no, or minimal, wider community benefit. Includes all aircraft hangar occupations An individual, company or incorporated body who occupies Council-owned or Council-managed land under a lease or licence agreement 8. SUPPORTING PROCEDURES / GUIDELINES Nil. Hardcopies of this document are considered uncontrolled please refer to the EGSC HIVE intranet site or ECM for the latest version Produced with the permission of University of Wollongong Rental Policy Council-owned and Crown-managed Land Page 7 of 7

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