Second garage to be leased as storage legal?

Hi there, I was in two minds about posting here or in the property management section but I came to the conclusion that it was more a legal issue than anything else. I have a unit with 2 garages side by side. The unit will be rented to one tenant with the inclusion of one garage. The second garage will be advertsied and leased as storage space. I rang renting services at the Dept of Fair Trading and they told me that if you rent a garage as storage then it would not be covered under a residential lease, that I would have to look at a commercial agreement of some sort. The person said this on the basis that no "people" would actually be living in the garage. My instinct tells me he took a wild guess to fob me off but maybe I'm wrong. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

I would talk to the council. It is a comercial activity in a residential area. A bit like some one setting up a business in their home. Maybe a zoning issue. "Maybe the councils attitude might be , if no one complains we do not know about it."
Dear Jester,

Are the two garages completely divided or is it possible to gain access from one garage to the other?


Hi Jester

Without knowing your State it is a bit difficult for people to contribute as each State has different laws governing multi-residential developments.

However, as the property is a 'unit' there will be a managing body whether a Body Corporate or a Strata Company or whatever.

Also, when you bought the unit you would have received a copy of the Rules of the development.

To introduce a non-resident and non-residential use into a residential development may not be acceptable to the Body Corporate ie to all the other owners.

There will be public liability issues as your garage tenant passes over the common property to access the storage.

Will the rental return be sufficient for you to pay for your own public liability insurance? Otherwise, should your tenant or anyone with them injure themselves on the common property the usual Body Corporate public liability policy may not cover the event.

At the very least you would be required to indemnify the members of the Body Corporate against any claim which may be made and possible have your own fire insurance as well. What about separate electricity meter and provision of eg fire extinguisher. What about hours of access?

It seems to be a legally complicated situation for a very small financial return.