Many programs will find it necessary to lease and/or renovate real estate for their global activities. Multi-year leases, or in less frequent occurrences agreements to purchase real property, need to be cleared by University staff to ensure that the University correctly and appropriately:
- Determines the economic cost of the arrangement for evaluation by senior management
- Engages local counsel, as needed
- Complies with local zoning laws; building codes (fire/safety)
- Determines local property taxes
- Obtains appropriate liability and property insurance coverage
- Mitigates the risk of seizure by local government of University assets
The following guidelines primarily apply to multi-year leases or any purchase of real estate, though the Office of Real Estate Management (OREM) may also be consulted on short term leases as needed.
Role of the Department or Unit
Prior to the lease or purchase of real estate, the Project Lead should contact the Office of Real Estate Management to discuss potential locations, market conditions and relevant costs within the targeted country. Depending upon the location, scope, and duration of the requirement, OREM will either assist with securing a location or request the Project Lead to locate the desired space, and send a prospective lease to the OREM for approval. All lease or purchase agreements will be processed through the Office of the General Counsel and signed by an authorized University signatory. BU employees should be aware that neither departmental staff nor field staff has the authority to enter into a lease agreement in the University’s name. Only authorized University signatories may sign leases and other contracts.
To minimize risks and ensure proper liability and property insurance coverage under University policies as well as other necessary administrative support, please provide a copy of all signed leases (including short term) to OREM.
In addition, prior to initiating any leasehold improvements at a new or existing location, the Project Lead should consult with OREM to determine how best to complete the proposed work in accordance with University standards and local laws.
Role of Central Administration
The Office of Real Estate Management will liaise with the Office of the General Counsel and, if necessary, will consult with the Office of Global Programs for legal and other advice related to leases or purchase agreements, and to ensure that leasehold improvements are performed in compliance with local building and zoning regulations. Furthermore, OREM may assist in ensuring that appropriate and reliable contractors are hired to perform the activity depending on the size and scope of the proposed work.
The Office of Real Estate Management will liaise with Risk Management on liability insurance issues.
The Office of Real Estate Management will liaise with Financial Affairs on issues related to compliance with accounting standards for real estate transactions.
Copies of all related legal, government and other project documents are held by the Office of the General Counsel, General Accounting, Office of Real Estate Management and the foreign location where necessary.