Many Communities of Hope and Compassion see property as a great opportunity for ministry in their neighbourhood. Your community has the potential to become a valued local venue, providing revenue to supplement tithes and offerings, or simply offered as a free service to a group in need.
This opportunity for mission is usually easy enough to roll out, however there are guidelines and safety checks that your community must consider. Church Hire and Licence Agreements have been developed that cover most potential users.
Churches that hire out their facilities will be subject to SRO land tax where the user hiring the facility is not a charity.
Sharing your church property may also require additional insurance that can be arranged by contacting the CCVT Operations Team. Checking your RedBook to ensure it is up to date is essential when entering into Hire and Licence Agreements.
When entering into arrangements with other groups to use your premises you should:
- Check that property and equipment to be used is well maintained and free of defects (e.g. flooring in good condition, power points, cables and electrical equipment in good repair)
- Arrange for a written user agreement to be signed by the user. Church Hire and Licence Agreements can be downloaded and used for most user arrangements
Longer term, more complex user arrangements are likely to require tailored licence or lease agreements requiring legal advice from our lawyers.
When entering into an agreement with a user, always ensure you do the following:
- Notify the user in writing of their responsibilities under the agreement such as cleaning, behaviour, and reimbursement for damages caused by the user. You should also make it clear to the user in writing that they are responsible for looking after their own property used on your church property (For example, sound equipment and props owned by a dance group using your church hall is the responsibility of the dance group)
- Ask the user for a Certificate of Currency verifying their Public Liability insurance and keep a copy on file. The user’s cover should be for a minimum of $10,000,000
- Make sure you understand the purpose for which the property is being hired. Do not hire the property to groups that will increase the risk of damage to the property.
A person from the church should be responsible for opening and closing the area hired. If it is necessary to provide a key to the hirer only provide one that gives access to the area being hired (this may mean engaging the services of a locksmith to secure hired areas of the building).