Maintaining and developing community leased and licensed premises

Under Brisbane City Council's standard lease and license terms and conditions, tenants are responsible for keeping their premises clean and tidy and in good condition, and repairing any damage to the premises which is caused by them or the use of the premises under the lease/licence agreement. 

Tenants with a lease agreement have additional maintenance responsibilities such as keeping the premises free from weeds and pests, maintaining fencing/car parking areas/drains/water pipes.

As a Council community facility tenant, it is critical you refer to your lease or licence agreement to understand your maintenance obligations, as well as when you need to obtain written Council consent to make any changes to the premises or undertake works.

Any works carried out on Council leased/licensed premises are required to meet all Australian standards and codes as detailed by the Queensland Government and Queensland Development Code.

Visit our Development works on a community leased or licensed premises page if you are wanting to undertake any development or redevelopment works within your leased/licensed premises (e.g. constructing new infrastructure, earthworks, or redeveloping existing infrastructure, including sports fields or lights).

Log into the Community Leasing Information Portal to view the obligations that are in your agreement with Council.

Find out more about:

Required approvals

Before you make any changes to your leased/licensed premises, you must obtain Council approval, as landlord.

You need approval for minor changes like moving soil, installing signage, erecting fencing, and trimming or removing trees or shrubs, as well as bigger projects, like undertaking building or earthworks, refurbishing sports fields, or erecting sports field lighting.

You may also need other Council approvals, as local authority, such as building approval, or an advertising sign licence.

If your premise is included on the Queensland Heritage Register or is identified by Council as being of local cultural heritage significance, you may also need to seek an Exemption Certificate for a Local Heritage Place.

For further advice about required approvals, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Ownership of improvements

In accordance with the conditions of your lease/licence, at the expiration of your term of tenure, all fixtures, including tenant's fixtures, remain the property of Council and cannot be removed, except where stated in the lease/licence agreement.

Accessing building plans

If you require a copy of building or drainage plans for your premises, Council may be able to assist you if they have been certified and lodged with Council.

To request assistance accessing building or drainage plans, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Structural repairs

Council will undertake any repairs to structural defects that existed prior to the date of commencement of a lease or your occupation of the premises as a tenant (whichever is earlier).

Council is not responsible for any structural defects of buildings or infrastructure built during the term of a lease.

Condition audits


To assist tenants with facility maintenance, Council undertakes condition audits of all buildings on leased/licensed premises every three years.

The condition audit process involves the assessment of all aspects of the building/s including:

  • structural elements such as building foundations, roofs, and stairs/ramps
  • legislative requirements such as electrical tagging and testing and fire safety devices
  • general maintenance such as building interior and flooring.

The building condition audit report may be given to tenants to provide guidance and advice on:

  • immediate maintenance needed
  • any issues that are of serious health or safety risk
  • areas that will require future attention and should be budgeted for
  • regular checks that should be done and whether they are up to date.

The building condition audit report should be:

  • used to inform the maintenance of the premises
  • kept in an accessible location where the committee and any relevant maintenance personnel can easily refer to it.

Council will provide notice to you as a tenant to access your premises for a building condition audit. Look up when your next inspection is due on the Community Leasing Information Portal.

To obtain a copy of your latest building condition audit, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Sports fields

To further support tenants in managing and maintaining their premises, condition audits of all sports fields are undertaken by Council every year.

The purpose of these audits is to assist Council in understanding the condition of the city's sports fields and to provide tenants with information essential in the development of a proactive turf management program.

The assessment involves a scientific evaluation (i.e. agronomic assessment) of the sports field/s, along with the collection of data to support field performance and safety. The report summarises the findings of the sports field audit and provides practical management advice.

The sports field audit report should be:

  • used to inform the maintenance of the premises
  • kept in an accessible location where the committee and any relevant maintenance personnel can easily refer to it.

To obtain a copy of your latest sports field condition report, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Sports field management

Visit our Sports field management page for information about how to best maintain your sports field/s, including advice on field remediation, watering, mowing, aerating, and fertilising.

Closed landfill management

Many properties Council leases or licenses were once landfill sites and are now referred to as closed landfill sites.

If your leased/licensed premises is located on a closed landfill site, it is crucial you do not undertake any building, development, or excavation works without written Council approval.

To find out if your lease/licence area is on a closed landfill site, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Visit our Closed landfill management page to learn about managing a closed landfill site, including your responsibilities as a tenant and additional factors you need to consider before undertaking works.

Heritage management

Heritage places are protected by Council's legislative framework to control demolition, removal and development in accordance with Brisbane City Plan 2014 provisions.

If you are a Council tenant of a community facility that is listed on Council's local cultural heritage register or the Queensland Heritage Register, there are certain restrictions that will apply to any works you undertake to the premises, including maintenance. There may also be specific design requirements you need to consider.

Visit our Local Heritage Places website and the Queensland Heritage Register for more information about heritage places and to find out if your site is listed. Properties may be listed on one or both websites, depending on the land and its significance.

Visit our Restoring and researching heritage properties page for more information on maintaining heritage properties and guidelines on future planning work.

The Queensland Government's website also provides information on changing or developing a heritage place.

If you:

  • are unsure if your community leased/licensed premises is heritage listed
  • want to know the specific requirements that may apply
  • need help planning works to a heritage site 
  • want to obtain Council approval or a heritage exemption

phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Heritage approval and exemption process

If you're wanting to make changes or undertake development works, in addition to Council approval, as landlord (which you must obtain first), you may also need to seek an Exemption Certificate for a Local Heritage Place from Council.

If your property is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, you may need a Heritage Exemption Certificate.

Visit the Heritage exemption certificates page for more information on when you need an exemption certificate and how to obtain one.

General Exemption Certificate

Council is making it easier to undertake repairs and minor works on local heritage places with the release of a General Exemption Certificate. This certificate saves time and money by removing application and fee requirements to undertake some types of repair and minor works needed to keep local heritage places in good repair and active use.

Some of the works included under the General Exemption Certificate (GEC) were previously included under a Heritage Exemption Certificate (HEC). If your proposed works are now covered by the GEC in accordance with conditions, a HEC is not required. However, you'll still need an application for works

Find out more on our heritage exemption certificates page.

If you're unsure if your proposed works qualify for a General Exemption Certificate, phone Council on 07 3403 8888 and ask to speak with a Planning Information Officer or a Sports and Community Officer.

Asbestos management

Read our Asbestos page for information on what asbestos is, how to identify asbestos, risks and removal and how to lodge a complaint about asbestos handling.

Due to their construction date, many Council leased/licensed premises were built using asbestos-containing material (ACM).

If you are unsure if your community leased/licensed premises have any asbestos-containing material, or to obtain a copy of your latest asbestos register and management plan, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Asbestos register and management plan

All Council premises identified as having ACM are audited every 12-18 months. Community facility tenants are provided with an asbestos register and management plan. Tenants must retain the register onsite and provide it to anyone who requests to view it. Before work commences, you should provide a copy of the plan to tradespeople or anyone undertaking work at your site. It is important the plan is kept in an accessible location and all relevant people know where it is.

Asbestos works and disposal

Works to be undertaken on an ACM premises must be undertaken by a licensed contractor. This includes drilling holes in walls. Power tools are not be used on ACM premises under any circumstances.

Asbestos removal must be undertaken by a licensed contractor and a clearance certificate obtained on completion of the work.

Find out more about the disposal of asbestos and finding a licensed contractor on our Asbestos page.

If you suspect an area has asbestos dust, do not disturb it.

Car parking, driveways and traffic management

Vehicles should not be driven on sports fields or any other areas of leased/licensed premises that are not designated for car parking unless your organisation has a specific arrangement in place with Council. The only exception to this is for emergency vehicles.

Some tenants access their premises via a lock rail. All lock rails have a dual lock system where the tenant and Council have individual keys to access the premises. If you have lock rail access to your premises, you should maintain a key register to ensure appropriate people in your organisation have access.

Tenant responsibilities for car parking and driveways

If your organisation plans to resurface the car park or extend the car parking areas, you must first obtain Council approval, as landlord, and ensure your proposal meets Council requirements.

Resurfacing or redesigning your car parking area, or development of new car parking areas may require Council development approval. You should engage a private town planner to assist you to plan the proposed works.

Any works carried out on leased/licensed premises are required to meet Australian Standards and codes as detailed by the Queensland Government and Queensland Development Code. The Australian Standards on parking facilities and designating disability parking spaces are AS/NZS2890.1:2004 and AS/NZS2890.6-2009.

No commercial subletting of car parking

The commercial subletting of car parking spaces is not permitted on Council leased/licensed premises.

Public access to leased/licensed car parking areas

Council encourages tenants located in Council parkland and/or with sports fields to allow their open space areas to be enjoyed and accessed by the public. Tenants are expected to be supportive of the public accessing their leased premises when they are not using them for their activities (including car parking areas).

If your organisation experiences any ongoing issues with public use of car parking within leased/licensed premises, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Park and car park bollards

Council is responsible for the management and maintenance of the wooden bollards located around Council parks and car parks. If you experience any issues with the bollards that surround your leased/licensed premises, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Parking around Brisbane sporting precincts

Council has introduced a number of parking permit areas in close proximity to sporting and special event facilities to assist local residents with accessing on-street parking in their area. Find out more about parking around Brisbane sporting precincts, including areas with designated on-street parking restrictions.

Traffic management

If you are planning a special event that involves a temporary lane or road closure, read about our Event traffic marshal scheme.

Keys and security

All Council community facility tenants are responsible for the management of the leased/licensed premises for the term of their agreement, including security. 

There are several measures your organisation can take to ensure your premises are safe and secure as practicable.

Security systems and processes

The installation of security systems such as closed-circuit television (CCTV), surveillance lighting and pin control access systems can improve the security of your premises. Installing good security systems and adopting good security processes reduces the vulnerability of your organisation to theft and disputes regarding goods/stock kept on the premises. 

Before installing a security system on your leased/licensed premises, you must obtain approval from Council as landlord.

Access control

Access to your facilities should be controlled to ensure access is limited to authorised persons. If you have sub-user groups who share your facilities, this means only providing them with access to the facilities they need during their agreed use times, days and weeks of the year.

Pin control access can be useful as the code can been changed as needed to limit access to currently authorised persons.

Access and key register

An access and key register should be maintained listing all people who have access to your facilities, which areas and in what form (e.g. key or pin code). Review this register regularly to reduce your organisation's exposure to potential security risks.

At a minimum, the register should include the names and contact details (phone, email) of all access holders, along with their respective position/role in your organisation, what they have access to and their form of access (key, code).

If you use pin codes to access your facilities, change them regularly to ensure only authorised persons can access the premises.

Dual lock rails

If your premises is fitted with a lock rail that restricts entry into the premises, the rail will have a dual lock system. This means that you as the tenant and Council each have an individual key. This enables you to control access and provides Council access in emergencies and for agreed works (e.g. grass mowing).

For more information about security at your leased/licensed premises and for help with applying for approval to install a security system, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Use of drones

As land owner, Council regulates the launching and landing of drones from Council land, including lease and license sites. Read more about launching drones from Council land.

More information

Visit the Application for works on community leased/licensed premises page for information on what works require approval and how to obtain Council approval as landlord.

For more advice on maintaining and developing your community leased/licensed premises, or to request a copy of your lease/licence agreement:

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