Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Commercial landlords - Are you complying with your obligations?

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24/09/2013

Do you own a commercial property? Are you aware of the numerous obligations you owe to your tenants? Do you receive regular legal advice regarding your obligations following the introduction or amendment of the laws which govern your obligations? If you own a commercial or industrial property, we encourage you to consider the following checklist to ensure that you are not exposed to serious risk.
 
Is the building’s certificate of classification prominently displayed?
 
The Building Act 1975 (Qld) requires an owner of a building that was certified on or after 1 July 1997 to ensure that the building’s certificate of classification is clearly displayed near the main entrance of the building. You may be subject to a fine of up to $16,500 if you fail to display the certificate of classification.
 
Is your leased land recorded on the contaminated land register?
 
The Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) requires notice to be given to a proposed tenant if the land on which the premises are situated is recorded on the contaminated land register (CLR).
 
Failure to disclose this information prior to entering into the lease may result in a fine of up to $5000 and will allow the tenant to terminate the lease at any time during the term, within ten days of the tenant discovering that the land is on the CLR. You cannot avoid this obligation by inserting a clause in the lease. 
 
If the land is placed on the CLR during the term of the lease, you must notify the tenant immediately or you may be liable for a fine of up to $5000.
 
Does your building comply with fire safety requirements?
 
As an owner of a building in Queensland, you have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of any person in that building in the event of a fire or other emergency. The requirements for compliance under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 1990 (Qld) and the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (Qld) are numerous and specific, and the penalties for non-compliance are potentially very expensive.
 
To assist you with complying with the legislation, the Department of Emergency Services has prepared a “Fire Safety Management Tool for Owner/Occupiers”, which provide details on how to comply with each obligation, including examples. These documents can be found on the Department’s website.
 
If you are concerned that you are not currently complying with your obligations or if you have any questions in relation to this bulletin, we encourage you to contact a member of the CG Law Business Services Team to obtain further advice. We endeavour to raise these issues when acting on all relevant leasing and land matters, to pro-actively assist our clients in complying with their legal obligations.

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