A Reminder for Commercial Buildings Owners – don’t forget your BEEC

In November 2011 the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (‘the Act’) came into effect as part of the Australian Government’s initiative toward promoting energy efficient commercial buildings and greener leasing.

The Act requires building owners to produce a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) when offering for sale or lease space over 2,000 square metres which is capable of being used or is used as office space. This will include entering into a new lease with an existing tenant which exceeds the required area.

A BEEC certificate must include:

  • An up-to-date National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy efficiency star rating for the building;
  • An assessment of tenancy lighting in the area of the building that is being sold or leases; and
  • General energy efficiency guidance.

A BEEC is only valid for 12 months, so it is important a building owner checks whether the building has a current BEEC before they invite offers to buy, let or sublet a building (or part of a building).

Failure to have a BEEC can be extremely costly to a building owner with theAct allowing Courts to imposepenalties of up to $170,000 for a body corporate and up to $59,500 for an individual. Alternatively, infringement notices can be issued by the government with fines of up to $17,000 for a body corporate or $5,950 for an individual.

TheAct will not apply to a building that is less than 2 years old or if it is strata titled. It will also not apply to a lease if the term being offered is for 12 months or less.

If you are contemplating the sale of a building or lease of an area of more than 2,000 square metres then Bradley Allen Love Lawyers can assist with the preparation of contracts to ensure building owners are not in breach of their obligations.

For more information or specific advice regarding the sale or leasing of commercial buildings please contact our specialist Commercial Property Team.