Licence agreements versus leases

In legal terms, Renew Newcastle doesn't lease the buildings but rather negotiates a licence agreement (a contract) that allows the 'creative projects' to access them.

An analogy is that Renew Newcastle asks for similar terms as those used when someone puts a mobile phone tower or a billboard on a building - the right to access it for a particular purpose on agreed terms.

Legally, this is important, as it does not trigger the statutory obligations, rights, costs and responsibilities for either party that are required for a lease.

As a result, the agreements are much easier for the property owner as Renew Newcastle asks for a lot less in the way of rights (and therefore causes a lot less hassles) than a normal leaseholder would.

Renew Newcastle drafts specific agreements for each property and allows the property owner to ultimately decide which specific projects they will host. While it can vary according to the circumstances, the default licence agreement allows the 'custodian' (each creative project) to use each building on a rolling 30-day basis.

The owner can give each project 30 days notice at any time should they wish to end the arrangement. This solves concerns of property owners about having to miss out on taking a commercial offer or selling the property should an offer come along.

The Renew Newcastle model has no 'opportunity cost' to the property owner for participating in the scheme.

In legal terms, Renew Newcastle, the property owner, and the project are all parties to a licence agreement that clearly specifies each party's responsibilities on a case-by-case basis.

In most cases, the property owner provides the property for a nominal sum until they wish to end the agreement.