Real Estate Dealings Policy

Policy Estate and Facility Management Real Estate Dealings Policy

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Intent

To ensure that all real estate marketplace inquiries, investigations, negotiations and dealings on behalf of James Cook University (JCU) are consistently and properly managed in the best interests of the University.

Key objectives include-

  • a co-ordinated and informed approach to Real Estate Dealings at JCU;
  • JCU premises that are suitable, fit for the purpose and meet all legislative and regulatory requirements;
  • The commercial exploitation, where appropriate, of the JCU Estate;
  • minimisation of JCU’s exposure to risk inherent with Real Estate Dealings;
  • achieving value for money for all JCU Real Estate Dealings;
  • a managed property portfolio which is efficiently operated through strategies such as rationalisation and share usage;
  • ensuring due process is followed and all necessary approvals are obtained;
  • ensuring probity and accountability for all outcomes governed by this Policy.

Scope

All Acquisitions and Disposal of Real Estate, and the formation and management of occupancy agreements including Leases, Licences and Permits, whether or not connected with any other transaction or arrangement.

The Policy does not apply to Real Estate Dealings by JCU controlled entities.

Definitions

Acquisition  means the acquisition of any kind of an interest in Real Estate by JCU. The term excludes Leases, Licences and Permits.

Business Case means a business case in a form and containing information to meet the requirements of FIAC.

Council means the Council of JCU.

Delegate means a delegate under the Financial Delegations Register authorised to enter into a particular Real Estate Dealing, taking into account the value of that dealing.

Discovery Rise Project means the Discovery Rise Project as approved by Council on 1 December 2011.

Disposal means the disposal of any kind of an interest in Real Estate by JCU. The term includes sale, surrender and write-off. The term does not include a dealing by way of a transfer, disposal or like dealing of a Lease, Licence or Permit.

Estate Board means the Estate Board of JCU which is a committee of the Council.

FIAC means Finance and Infrastructure Advisory Committee, a committee of the Vice Chancellor.

Finance Committee means the Finance Committee of Council.

JCU Estate means all Real Estate owned, occupied or used by JCU, where ever located.

Leases, Licences and Permits means leases, licences and permits of any kind, and like occupancy arrangements, of an interest in RealEstate from and by JCU.  The term excludes Acquisitions and Disposals.

Major Project means any project connected to a Real Estate Dealing which will or may have a significant impact on the JCU Estate and which, by reason of its impact and/or financial considerations, the Deputy vice Chancellor, Services and Resources determines to be a Major Project.

Marketplace Enquiries means all enquiries, whether formal or informal in relation to Real Estate with the intended purpose of a Real Estate Dealing.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) means a document which is not contractually binding but which affects or may affect the University Estate or future Real Estate Dealings.

Real Estate means land, whether freehold or leasehold, including all buildings (existing and proposed) and related fixed improvements.

Real Estate Dealings means any dealings, or proposed dealings in Real Estate including the following-

  • Acquisitions
  • Disposals
  • Leases, Licences and Permits
  • Marketplace Enquiries
  • Real Estate Management

Real Estate Management means the management of JCU Real Estate in accordance with clause 7.

Relevant JCU Staff means staff of JCU who in the opinion of the Director Commercial Services  should be notified of an Acquisition, Disposal or Lease, Licence or Permit.  The term includes-

  • the Director, Estate Office
  • the Director, Financial and Business Services
  • the Head Information Management, Space and Timetabling
  • Manager, Environment
  • JCU Insurance Officer, Legal and Assurance
  • representatives of JCU users
  • the Manager, Commercial Services

·

Policy and Procedures

  1. The Role of FIAC and Working Groups
    1. Unless the Vice Chancellor otherwise determines, the following Real Estate Dealings must be processed through FIAC prior to JCU entering into binding contractual arrangements-
      1. all Acquisitions;
      2. all Disposals;
      3. all Leases, Licences and Permits which are connected with funding agreements and/or new infrastructure which are not dealt with by clause 1.4;1
      4. any other Real Estate Dealing which the Vice Chancellor or the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources directs shall be considered by FIAC.
    2. JCU staff involved in developing proposals for the acquisition of significant Real Estate interests are encouraged to adopt a two stage process with the first stage being a preliminary briefing to FIAC and the second stage being the formal FIAC approval process.
    3. Each of the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources and Director Commercial Services   may establish a working group to assist the consideration of Real Estate interests and Real Estate Dealings.  Any such working groups are advisory in nature only.
    4. Clause 1.1(c) does not apply to Leases, Licences and Permits (including tenancies under the Residential Tenancies Act) for a period not exceeding one year.
  2. Funding Applications which may affect the JCU Estate
    1. Funding applications which may affect the JCU Estate or require a Real Estate Dealing must be notified in writing to-
      1. the Director Estate Office;
      2. the Director Commercial Services ; and
      3. the Director Financial and Business Services.

        with
      4. a copy of the relevant application; and
      5. a summary of the implications for JCU on the JCU Estate with supporting financial information including estimates.
  3. Market Place Enquiries
    1. Market Place Enquiries are the responsibility of Commercial Services Office.
    2. Any staff of the University wishing to become involved in Market Place Enquiries must not do so without the prior approval of the Director Commercial Services.  Any staff so authorised to make Market Place Enquiries-
      1. are not authorised to negotiate on behalf of the University;
      2. must provide the Commercial Services Office with a written report of such enquires to the satisfaction of the Director Commercial Services.
    3. The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources and Commercial Services may authorise JCU staff to participate in Market Place Enquiries on condition that-
      1. the Director Commercial Services  is kept informed;
      2. no contractually binding arrangements are entered into by the person so authorisedd
  4. Acquisitions
    1. All Acquisitions must be processed in a way that best protects and advances the interests of the University.  This objective will normally be achieved by-
      1. obtaining independent valuation advice from a registered valuer prior to contractual commitment;
      2. the preparation of a Business Case considered and approved by FIAC which addresses as a minimum the following-
        1. all relevant acquisitions, holdings, operating and maintenance costs;
        2. the source of funding;
        3. operational requirements;
        4. sustainability considerations;
        5. risk management issues including workplace health and safety; and
        6. optional courses of action (eg lease/purchase)
          It is the responsibility of the proponent for a Real Estate Dealing to complete the Business Case for FIAC and for the same to be submitted to FIAC via Commercial Services who may assist in this process.
    2. JCU Staff are encouraged to search both the Queensland and Commonwealth government surplus property registers for suitable properties.
    3. All Acquisitions are managed by Commercial Services working in conjunction with the proponents for such dealings.
    4. Prior to the University being contractually bound, Commercial Services must-
      1. ensure that any appropriate pre-contract enquiries are made (eg that the proposed use is permitted by a local authority town plan);
      2. ensure that the terms of contract are appropriate and adequately protect the interest of the University;
      3. arrange for lawyers to be appointed to act on behalf of the University in the Acquisition unless the Director Commercial Services  determines that this engagement is not warranted;
      4. contact JCU Insurance section, so that adequate insurance is in place both as to type of insurance and amount; and
      5. notify the University’s Head Information Management, Space and Timetabling of the proposed Acquisition.
    5. Following completion of the Acquisition, Commercial Services  must notify Relevant JCU Staff.
    6. The University may acquire Real Estate utilising an option agreement which normally involves-
      • the payment of a non-refundable payment which forms the deposit if the option is exercised;
      • no obligation on the part of the University to complete the Acquisition unless it chooses to;
      • the terms of sale including price being attached to the option agreement; and
      • the option being valid for a period (the Option Period).

In these arrangements the advantage to the University is that it acquires the right to acquire Real Estate without being bound to complete the Acquisition.  In the Option Period the University can finalise funding sources and carry out its due diligence enquiries.

  1. Disposals
    1. All Disposals must be processed in a way that best protects and advances the interests of the University.  This objective will normally be achieved by-
      1. obtaining independent valuation advice from a registered valuer prior to contractual commitment;
      2. the approval of FIAC to the Disposal (for which a Business Case is required);
      3. the engagement of independent real estate agents after written submission from up to three agents to include-
        • sale methodology including
          1. private treaty
          2. auction
          3. sale by tender
          4. other;
        • marketing program;
        • remuneration;
        • recent market information experience;
      4. advertising the University Real Estate for sale taking into account the recommendation of real estate agents or, in the case that there is no real estate agents, appropriate advertising designed to ensure the Real Estate is adequately listed for sale.
      1. The University may notify a relevant local authority or government agency of the proposed Disposal prior to commencing a Disposal process.
      2. The University shall have regard to any consents required at law for the    Disposal of University Real Estate eg the consent of the Minister to a sale of Real Estate held under the Land Act 1994.
    2. All Disposals are managed by Commercial Services working in conjunction with the proponents for such dealings.
    3. Prior to the University being contractually bound, Commercial Services must-
      1. ensure that relevant primary stakeholders within the University are identified and notified in the case that the sale will affect their operations, staff or students;
      2. ensure that any feedback or objectives from University stakeholders is taken into account in the Business Case to FIAC;
      3. notify the University’s Head Information Management, Space and Timetabling of the proposed Disposal;
      4. arrange for lawyers to be appointed to act on behalf of the University in the Disposal, unless the Director Commercial Services  determines that this engagement is not warranted.
    4. Following completion of the Disposal, Commercial Services must notify Relevant JCU Staff.
      1. JCU would not normally enter into a Disposal of Real Estates at less than market value;
      2. Whenever there is a proposed Disposal of Real Estate for an amount which is less than market value, the reason for such Disposal with background supporting information must be provided to the delegate at the same time as the relevant contract is presented for signing.
    5. The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources may request the Director Commercial Services  to review all Real Estate interests to determine whether there are any that may be surplus to JCU requirements.  This responsibility is to be carried out in consultation with-
      1. the University’s Head Information Management, Space and Timetabling;
      2. the Director, Estate Office;
      3. the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources; and
      4. JCU users.
  2. Leases, Licences and Permits      
    1. All Leases, Licences and Permits must be processed in a way that best protects and advances the interests of JCU.
      This objective will normally be achieved by-
      • a Business Case;
      • ensuring that Leases, Licences and Permits are entered into at market rates and on commercial terms.  In some cases this may warrant the obtaining of independent valuation advice from a registered valuer;
      • In the case of Leases, Licences and Permits to the University, ensuring that appropriate pre-contract enquiries are made (eg that the proposed use is permitted by a local authority town plan);
      • ensuring that the terms of contract are appropriate and adequately protect the interests of the University;
      • contact JCU Insurance office so that adequate insurance is in place  both as to type and amount, with context to any contractual requirements;
      • notifying the University’s Head Information Management, Space and TimetablingUniversity of the proposed transaction.
    2. All Leases, Licences and Permits are managed by Commercial Services working in conjunction with the proponents for such dealings.
    3. Following the completion of a Lease, Licence or Permit, Commercial Services must notify Relevant JCU Staff of the transaction.
    4. The approval of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources is required before the University enters into a Lease, Licence or Permit at less than market rates.
    5. The Director Commercial Services  must provide twice yearly reports to FIAC on Leases, Licences and Permits entered into by the University in each 6 month period.
  3. Real Estate Management
      1. The management of Real Estate which is the subject of a Lease, Licence or  Permit is the responsibility of Commercial Services Office to the extent that it is not otherwise managed;
      2. Management of Real Estate does not include being responsible for capital or maintenance works.  Responsibility for capital and maintenance works for Real Estate under the ownership or control of the University is, subject to the terms of any relevant Lease, Licence or Permit, the responsibility of the Estate Office.
    1. Responsibility of Commercial Services Office in management of JCU Real Estate includes-
      1. appointment of managing real estate agents;
      2. representing the University on bodies corporate;
      3. property management including-
        1. calculating rental changes in accordance with contract terms and notifying Financial and Business Services;
        2. receiving any notice of maintenance and issues in relation to relevant Real Estate and facilitating appropriate action under contract terms unless otherwise arranged; and
        3. co-ordinating on behalf of JCU any other action which is necessary to reasonably protect the interests of JCU.
  4. Memoranda of Understanding
    1. Any Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which may affect the University Estate or a Real Estate Dealing, even in a way that is not contractually binding on the parties to the MOU, must be forwarded to the Director Commercial Services and the Director Estate Office before the MOU is entered into.
  5. Records and Reporting  
    1. Following completion of a Real Estate Dealing Commercial Services Office must ensure that
      1. University records are updated;
      2. a copy of the relevant Real Estate Dealing is provided to University  Corporate Information section; and
      3. relevant JCU staff are notified of the Real Estate Dealing in accordance with this Policy.
    2. Either the Vice Chancellor or the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources may request a post-transaction report on any Real Estate Dealing.
    3. Commercial Services Office must maintain a register of all Real Estate interests and Real Estate Dealings.
  6. Sustainability
    1. In all Real Estate Dealings, Commercial Services Office-
      1. is responsible to ensure that appropriate terms dealing with sustainability are incorporated into Leases, Licences and Permits; and
      2. should work in conjunction with the Manager, Environment.
  7. Pathways
    1. The pathway to Council where Council approval is required is via Finance Committee.
    2. Where a project or proposed Real Estate Dealing may affect the Discovery Rise Project the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources may direct that the Estate Board is informed of the project or proposal and that the views of that Board are sought.
  8. Signing Authorities
    1. Singing authorities for Real Estate Dealings are in accordance with the Delegations Policy
    2. Real Estate Dealings that must be signed under the seal of JCU must be referred to the University Secretary for execution.
  9. Directions and Clarifications
    1. The Vice Chancellor acting in consultation with the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources may issue directions or clarifications in relation to matters dealt with in this Policy.

Related documents, legislation or JCU Statutes

James Cook University Act 1977

Statutory Bodies Financial Arrangements Act 1982

Land Titles Act 1994

Land Act 1994

Trust Act 1973

Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997

Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000www

Government Land Policies

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval Authority:

Estate Board

Date for next Major Review:

1/5/2017

Modification History

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

 

17-1

19/01/2017

27/01/2017

Titles amended to reflect current organisation structure

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer

15-1

24/06/2015

 

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

QSP

12-2

18/04/12

01/06/12

Council approved amendments.

 

12-1

08/02/12

   

05-1

28/11/2005

29/11/2005

 

There are no related procedures.

There are no other related documents.