Third Party Lettings – The Considerations


In the face of rising costs and the impact of potential VAT on School Fees, many schools are having to expand upon additional revenue streams such as lettings and hirings to supplement their budgets.  This requires careful consideration, planning and a commitment to building relationships with hirers.

The hiring out of school buildings is a useful additional income stream. However, the use of the buildings by third parties introduces potential additional property and liability risks and will require careful control and management. The type of events and the use of the building must be carefully considered, along with the nature and profile of participants in these events. Although the school may have no direct involvement in the third-party organisation and arrangements, members of the public are likely to think the school is involved because the event is being held on their premises. It is important to carefully consider whether any event or let is appropriate, understand what it entails, also request the organisers’ safety arrangements and copy of the Public Liability insurance they have in place. Careful co-operation and co-ordination between the school and the hirers is crucial.

On average, school buildings and grounds are only used for mainstream education for up to around 60% of the year. Boarding schools have a proportion of the student and staff population on site beyond the traditional school day, but with robust safeguarding procedures the revenue created from hiring your property is still worth considering.

In addition, many summer schools need a location from which to run their activities such as swimming, theatre productions and various sports. This may be a general academic summer school, or a more specialised programme. This relationship could be mutually beneficial as the summer school could return year after year.

Points to consider

  • Preventing access to other parts of the building, or other parts of the site that fall outside the hiring agreement
  • If activities take place during school hours, external participants may come into contact with students. Ensure the adequacy of the safeguarding arrangements
  • Consider the types of events you will be allowing, their frequency and attendance numbers. Pay particular attention to security, fire evacuation requirements, and wear and tear on the property
  • If there are hirings outside of school hours or in the holidays, a suitable induction should be provided to the equipment and there should be considerations with regards to supervision and first aid provision
  • Creating a procedures document to be followed by hirers when using the property would ensure consistency. Hirers should sign up to these procedures prior to events taking place and a formal hiring agreement should be signed
  • The school should have its own Public Liability insurance in place, but this would not extend to cover other parties. Although hirers should have their own insurance covers in place with an adequate level of indemnity the school should also consider extending their own Public Liability insurance to include Hirers Liability as a contingent cover for those smaller low risk groups that may not warrant holding their own policy (i.e. Embroidery class). Hirers should prepare risk assessments for their activities, copies of which should be made available and approved and retained by the school
  • If third party hirings are being undertaken during school hours then there needs to be careful consideration of sufficient safeguarding measures and/ or the clear division of exposures.


The diversification of pupil accommodation can optimise the out-of-term offering through careful spatial planning and energy strategy, that makes best use of existing and proposed assets. Out-of-term lettings of pupil accommodation buildings could be more widely practised in the independent school sector with the occupation of boarding accommodation (excluding half terms and holidays) being 34 weeks. This equates to a 65 percent utilisation rate over the calendar year which gives plenty of potential for lettings.

Fire Risk Assessment

As with all of the site activities robust risk assessments including that of fire need to be in place along with hiring agreements including all details of the responsibilities of the Hirer. It will be the responsibility of the Property Owner to ensure that there has been a Fire Risk Assessment undertaken and they have a duty of care with regards to the upkeep and maintenance of the premises to ensure it is safe and fit for hire and use.  


If your school is thinking of starting to undertake third party lettings or already does so and you would like some further advice, please get in touch with us and we would be happy to advise on possible insurance requirements and health and safety considerations.

Author Bio

This article was written by Account Executive Rachael Romasanta. 

Rachael began her career in insurance in 2007 working as an insurance broker until 2019 when she then spent two years as the Risk Management Sales Consultant for the NFU Mutual covering the Southwest of England.  During this time, Rachael completed her NEBOSH qualification and focused heavily on buildings and liability risks including Grade listed and historical estates.

Rachael joined Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers in 2022 and is our specialist education and charity Account Executive.  Rachael can be contacted via phone, email or LinkedIn:

0117 930 1657 | 07841 430 237

[email protected]

Rachael Romasanta Cert CII NEBOSH | LinkedIn