Operating your office business smoothly in a building with a Body Corporate structure

Operating your office business smoothly in a building with a Body Corporate structure

Office – Workplace August 2017

Space Race

Being part of a unit-titled, mixed-use development where office, retail and residential users all have a presence within the one building or precinct, means that all occupiers need to adhere to the prescribed Body Corporate (BC) operational rules for that property.

These rules are upheld by the Body Corporate associated with the property. While the owner/landlord of your premises is ultimately the one responsible to that Body Corporate, as a tenant you are required to obey the BC rules which should be made available in written form when you take on the lease.

As an office business, day-to-day operational activities impacted by BC rules will generally be based around ensuring that all occupiers of the property have “quiet enjoyment” of the property and that all parties co-exist peacefully.

This applies to activity both within your defined business unit and within the common areas of the building.

Here’s some pointers:
• Commercial unit-title developments can have a wide range of common property such as lifts, lobby areas, stairwells, rubbish and recycling facilities, car parking areas and even recreational facilities. The use and maintenance of these common areas will be covered in the BC rules.
• There could be restrictions on allowable signage or branding for your business. This could be covered by the BC rules, Council bylaws – or both.
• There will be security protocols – numbers of security swipe cards, hours of access etc
• There could be prescribed hours/time slots for courier or freight deliveries
• Smoking/no smoking areas will be designated
• When moving in or vacating the property at the start or end of a lease, there could be protocols around the movement of large furniture items etc
• There may be rules around the refurbishment of interior space
• Parking may be controlled – both for your office business and your clients
• There may be preferred suppliers/contractors/tradespeople to be used for any remedial work within your property. Often developments will have a register of tradies who know the building well and understand the infrastructure.
• You may be locked into designated service providers such as power companies, internet providers etc, however there will usually be cost-benefits from this as these services are generally secured on a bulk rate arrangement.
• If you should have problems with other users in the building, there is a defined dispute resolution process so you will not be alone in trying to get a remedy

Being part of a mixed-use development has many benefits and the BC rules are there to protect everyone’s’ interests.

Make sure you are provided with an up-to-date copy of the BC rules that apply to the building you are in and also a current list of contacts for those associated with the property’s governance and management

Mixed-use developments have many upsides and it is reassuring to know that there are measures in place to protect the quiet enjoyment of your office space.

Depending on your own service offering, there could be some great business contacts and opportunities within the building you occupy – a real sense of community can be fostered among occupiers which may not happen if you operate from a standalone property.

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