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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Facilities > Facilities for government > Office Accommodation Management Framework > Guideline 4: Occupancy > 1.0 Conditions of occupancy

1.0 Conditions of occupancy

Agencies occupy government-owned and office accommodation leased from the private sector under Cabinet-approved policy and guidelines. These occupancy arrangements are described in the reference Policy and guidelines for the use of owned and private-sector leased government office accommodation (PDF, 164KB), which is included as a supporting document in Guideline 1: Planning.

1.1 Government-owned and ‘Major Leased’ buildings

The Department of Housing and Public Works (HPW) assumes the role of landlord for the government office buildings that it controls and is the head lessee for ‘Major Leased’ buildings. The term ‘Major Leased’ buildings refers to office buildings that are leased in whole or substantial part by the Queensland Government, which have long term tenure and involve particular obligations and maintenance provisions. The accommodation in these buildings is controlled by HPW.

Agencies occupy government-owned office buildings and ‘Major Leased’ office buildings under an occupancy agreement that is broadly equivalent in format to a commercial lease. This document, Occupancy Agreement for government accommodation between Department of Housing and Public Works and agencies (PDF, 182KB) (Occupancy Agreement), was developed by HPW in consultation with agencies and sets out the roles and responsibilities of agencies as tenants and HPW as landlord. Queensland Government agencies are all entities of the State of Queensland, and as such, are unable to enter into legally binding relationships with each other. Nevertheless, the parties have agreed to conduct themselves in a businesslike fashion and to treat the Occupancy Agreement as if it were a legally-binding lease. The term ‘lease’ is used as the description of the area occupied by each agency in government-owned buildings and ‘Major Leased’ buildings for consistency with commercial practice.

The Occupancy Agreement encompasses all office accommodation occupied by each agency in all Government-owned and Major Leased buildings and is not replicated for the area(s) occupied in each building. Occupancy of space in each separate building is established through negotiation, formal agreement and a ‘Lease Details Schedule’ that sets out the specific details related to each particular building such as leased area and rent. This Occupancy Agreement is consistent with the policy and guidelines approved by Cabinet.

A copy of the Occupancy Agreement for government accommodation between Department of Housing and Public Works and agencies (PDF, 182KB) is included with this section as a supporting document.

1.2 ‘Other Leased ‘office/commercial buildings

Office/commercial buildings that are leased from the private sector, and are not ‘Major Leased’ buildings are termed ‘Other Leased’ buildings. Agencies occupy these buildings in accordance with the lease conditions contained in each lease.

It is government policy that agencies should utilise the Standard Government Lease family of documents whenever possible, in order that the rights of agency tenants are adequately and consistently protected, and to enable the enforcement of those rights if necessary. In some circumstances, the standard documentation is varied to include special conditions for specific reasons.

Accordingly, each lease document must be referenced prior to any significant action being taken with respect to that particular lease. All lease agreements and other legal documents are retained by HPW under secure document storage practices in accordance with the audit requirements of Queensland State Archives and applicable retention schedules.

These leases between the State of Queensland and the landlord are legally binding and enforceable by both parties. HPW enters into each lease on behalf of the government and requires agencies to formally acknowledge that they will comply with the general and special conditions of each lease. Agencies are responsible for the consequences of any breach of lease conditions caused by the agency.

Cabinet has approved HPW as the sole agency responsible for negotiating and managing all government office accommodation leases. Accordingly, agencies and shared service providers must consult with that department in all matters relating to leased office accommodation and must not approach the market directly nor engage directly in lease negotiations with private sector landlords or their agents. The purpose of centralising leasing activities is to avoid the potential for agencies or shared service providers to bid against one another inadvertently for the same space and to avoid duplication of leasing functions across several agencies or shared service providers.

Additional information is available in the best practice guideline Leasing and Lease Management, which forms part of the Strategic Asset Management (SAM) guidelines developed by HPW.

Last updated 09 July 2018    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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