Massons

Office tenants and owners prepare: new laws could impact you

Written by Jodie Masson & Kate Clissold on May 1, 2017

More owners and tenants will require a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate

On 1 July 2017, the Government will lower the threshold established under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) from 2,000 square metres to 1,000 square metres. Generally, this means that, on and from 1 July 2017, if you are:

  • a building owner who is selling or leasing office space with a net lettable area of 1,000 square metres or more; or
  • a tenant who is subleasing part of your tenancy with a net lettable area of 1,000 square metres or more,

you are now required to obtain a BEEC (Building Energy Efficiency Certificate) prior to the building being placed on the market for sale, lease or sublease.

A reminder of the obligations

You may recall that under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth):

  • A BEEC must include:
    • the building’s NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) Energy for offices star rating; and
    • a Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA).
  • The NABERS Energy star rating must be included in any advertising for the sale, lease or sublease of the building or office space.
    • Some buildings are currently exempt from the disclosure obligations, determined by:
    • Type of building, such as:
      • new buildings or buildings which have completed a major refurbishment (where a certificate of occupancy has not yet been issued or was issued for less than two years)
      • strata-titled buildings
      • some mixed-use buildings (with total office space being less than 75% of the net lettable area); and
    • Type of transaction, such as:
      • sales through transfer of share or units
      • sale of partial interests
      • leases and subleases of less than 12 months (including any option to extend).
  • A current, valid BEEC must be provided to all potential buyers and tenants free of charge when requested and as early as possible in the transaction enquiry process.
  • A CBD accredited assessor may require information or access to a disclosure-affected office. However, exemptions to this disclosure obligation are available where tenants:
    • are conducting sensitive police or security operations; or
    • cannot provide energy bills because they are new tenants and have yet received a bill.

Fines and other penalties apply for non-compliance.

For further information, please contact Jodie Masson or Kate Clissold.

 

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