Rental Rates and Policies

Click here to download a PDF version of the Facilities Rental Policies listed below.

First UU Rental Policy sections: (click title to redirect to section)

I. Rental Information
II. Room Information
III. Church/Facilities Information
IV. Rental Liability
V. Building Closures

I. Rental Information

The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin makes space available for rent to church members, non-profit organizations and members of the greater Austin community. The core functions of the Church will have first priority on the use of facilities. Further prioritization of facility use will be on a first-come, first-served basis. ***Please note that due to construction plans, the church is not available for rentals beginning July 1, 2017. We will update this page when we have a date when rentals will resume. We hope you will consider us again, when renovations are complete.***

Rental Options and Rates:

Room/Service People Capacity Regular Rates – per hour*
Sanctuary Standard Setup (pews): 330 $150 (3 hour minimum),                                                     $100 per hour for additional rehearsal time (2 hr. minimum and must be on separate day)
Howson Hall Standard setup w/8 tables: 64 Seated w/10 tables: 80Chairs only (theater style): 120 Standing: 200 $135 (3hr minimum)
Gallery Standard setup w/5 tables: 13Seated w/5 tables: 23Chairs: 50Standing: 60 $75 (2hr minimum/day)
Classrooms 13, 15, 17 Standard setup w/3 tables: 15/sideChairs only: 25/sideStanding: 50/side $30 for half room; $50 for entire room (2hr minimum/day)
Room 11 Standard setup (informal – all couches): 15Standing: 25 $30 (2hr min/day)
Nursery Rooms 19, 21, 23 Varies based on age of children $30 (2hr minimum/day)
Required addition to all paid rentals (some exceptions apply):
Sexton** NA $25
Areas available as addition to a room rental:
Kitchen N/A Shared – $50 for a 4 hour event; $10 each additional hour; Exclusive – $100 for a 4 hour event; $20 each additional hour
Toddler Playground Varies based on age of children Shared: no feeExclusive: $30
Children’s Playground Varies based on age of children Shared: no feeExclusive: $30
Courtyard Standing: 75 $25
Additional rental options:
Parking NA Fee determined on a per case basis
Filming NA Fee determined on a per case basis

*Note: Although we have listed hourly rates, we require a minimum room rental of $350 in order to book your event. Additional fees for Sexton, equipment or special request items are not included in the minimum rental. Thank you for understanding our commitment to the most efficient use of our staff and resources.

** Sexton (event liaison): A Sexton (event liaison) is a Church representative that is on hand for the duration of non-church events in case the Renter may have questions, require assistance or in the event of an emergency. The Sexton provides the following services: opening and closing the building, turning on lights, adjusting the thermostat, ensuring equipment requested in the rental contract is available, ensuring the bathrooms are properly stocked for your event, assisting with turning on AV equipment and microphones, and be available for questions about using the Church facilities. For Memorial services, the Sexton is available (upon request) to assist with the AV equipment, playing the music, adjusting the microphones during the service. Examples of services not included: setup, moving tables, chairs and other furniture, food prep or food service, throwing out trash, reset and cleaning. A Sexton is required to for ALL non-member rentals before or after office hours (Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm). The Sexton requirement will be evaluated on a per case basis for rentals held during office hours and for all First UU Church member rentals (non-church events).

Discounts offered (apply to room rental only)

  • First UU Church Member (non-church event): 25% (can’t be combined with 501(c)3 discount)
  • 501(c)3 Non-profit: 20% discount (can’t be combined with member discount)
    • Eligibility: Renter must provide proof of 501(c)3 non-profit status at the time signed contract and payment are due.
  • Recurring rental: additional 15% discount
    • Eligibility: A single contract that includes six reservations on separate dates within one calendar year with a minimum of 2 hours each date.
  • Payment-in-full: additional 5% discount (Does not apply to reservations made less than 45 days in advance)

Payments and Payment Methods

  • Accepted methods of Payment:
    • ACH and Debit/credit card payments are now accepted online through the church website.
    • Check and Money order – accepted in person or by mail. For returned checks, there will be a fee of $30 and the reservation is subject to cancellation. Late payments are subject to a late fee of $30 for every week that payment is past due.
    • Cash – accepted in person only
  • Down Payment: In order to hold a reservation, the contract must be signed by both parties, and a non-refundable down payment paid. For one-time rentals $350 is required. The down payment for recurring rentals is 25% of the total contract amount. All down payments are applied toward the total amount due.
  • Remaining balance/payment-in-full: Payment in full is due for reservations made less than 45 days in advance. After a deposit has been made, final payment is due 30 days prior to the scheduled event. For recurring rentals, final payment is due before the first reservation date. Exceptions to this payment plan must be in writing by Office Administrator.
  • Additional charges:
    • Renter agrees to leave the rented area as clean, orderly, and in good repair as it was found when Renter entered the premises. Renter is responsible for cleaning tables, removing trash and debris from floors, removing trash, resetting the room to the standard setup and any damages caused by the Renter or Renter’s guests. In the event that additional charges are applied for non-compliance or damages, the Renter will be invoiced and responsible for payment within 14 business days from the event date.
    • Renter agrees to not occupy room(s) outside of reservation time, nor room(s) that are not specified on the rental contract.
      • Extended time (ET): ET is additional time needed before or after the times listed in this contract. If additional time is needed, prior arrangements, including a signed revised contract and payment for additional time must be made prior to the day of your event. If rental rates increase since the time the contract was signed, the rates listed on this contract will be honored.
      • Unauthorized extended time (UET): UET is arriving before or staying past the time listed on this contract. The renter will be invoiced for UET at 200% of the full rental rate and is responsible for payment within 14 business days from the event date.
  • Cancellations/Rescheduling:
    • The down payment is not refundable. In the event of a cancellation or rescheduling by the Renter at least 30 days before the event, any additional payments received (beyond the down payment) will be refunded. If the cancellation or rescheduling is less than 30 days before the event, the Renter is responsible for the full-rental. The down payment will not be refunded and if final payment has not already been made, the Renter will be invoiced for the remaining balance which will be due to the Church within 14 business days.
    • In the event of a cancellation by the Church, the following policies apply:
      • If the cancellation is due to failure to submit Certificate of Liability Insurance, all payments made by the renter are non-refundable.
      • If the cancellation is due to weather (the Church follows the Austin Independent School District closure schedule), the down payment and any other payments made are not returned to the renter, but the renter may reschedule the event within the next 12 months.
      • If the Church cancels at no fault of the renter (other than a weather condition), the renter is entitled to a full refund of all payments received. The renter may alternately reschedule the event for another time within 12 months.

II. Room Information (assignment, setup/reset, equipment, etc.):

  • Church reserves the right to change room assignment previous to an event, based on other circumstances (i.e., noise level, number of people, repairs, etc.). The Church will notify you by email of the change if it occurs more than 48 hours prior to the event date. If the change happens within 48 hours, the Church will notify you by email and attempt to make contact by phone once. Changes are noted on the printed All Church Events calendar posted on the Welcome Center Bulletin board. It is recommended that the Renter check the calendar when first arriving to confirm room locations. For rooms that do not have comparable alternate locations, such as Howson Hall or the Sanctuary, the Church will contact you with as much notice as possible to discuss rescheduling.
  • Each room has a standard setup (see table below). The renter is welcome to setup the room however best suites the needs of the event. However, the Renter is responsible for setting up the room and cleaning/resetting the room back to the standard setup before vacating. Not returning the room to the original setup and condition will result in additional fees. Fees will vary based on the condition of the room.

Tables and chairs provided with standard setup (additional chairs and tables available upon request):

Room 72” white folding tables 48” white folding table Chairs
Howson Hall 11 3 64
Gallery 5 10
Classrooms 13, 15, 17 3– A side3– B side 15 – A side 15 – B side

Renter will notify the office administrator if additional tables and chairs are needed at least 14 days in advance of the event. Renter agrees to not borrow chairs/tables/items from other rooms without prior approval.

  • Requests for equipment with rental fees (see available equipment and fees below) should be included on the initial rental contract. If contract has already been signed, please contact the office at least 14 days prior to the event date to ensure availability of equipment. A revised contract reflecting additional fees must be signed and returned with payment prior to the event date. Last minute requests, will require immediate payment in order for equipment to be used. Invoicing is not available.

Equipment offered with additional fee:

Equipment Fee Room available Quantity available
Handheld wireless microphone $25 per mic Howson Hall, Sanctuary 2
Projector $50 Howson Hall – mounted (speakers available), Sanctuary – portable (no speakers available but you can bring computer speakers) 1
Steinway Piano $50 Sanctuary 1
  • No food or drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary or Sanctuary foyer.
  • Alcohol: Consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted for social functions, but the sale of alcoholic beverages, including a donation-based exchange, is prohibited. If alcohol is served, it must be monitored against minors drinking and the office must have on file, in advance, a contact name of someone in attendance who is officially responsible for monitoring the bar, and who takes responsibility for the sobriety of guests. Please note that no food or drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary or Sanctuary foyer.

III. Church Facilities Information

  • Use of common areas: Church agrees that common (non-exclusive) areas including hallways, parking lots*, and bathrooms, shall be available for use by Renter. Renter understands that there may be other activities at the Church that may share these common areas during the Renter’s usage. Utilities, including air conditioning or heating shall be provided. *Rental fees apply for exclusive use of a parking lot or parking spaces. Rental fees for parking are determined based on the dates, time and number of spaces needed.
  • Use of non-common areas: The kitchen, courtyards, gardens and playgrounds are not considered common areas, and use of them must be noted on the rental contract.
  • Kitchen:
    • Options for reserving/renting the kitchen: Shared – gives you access to use the kitchen but other church groups or renters will also have access to the kitchen. Renter will need to make sure not to monopolize the kitchen counter space and sinks. Exclusive – gives you exclusive access to the kitchen, so that all counters and sinks can be used for your event. Rental fees apply for both options.
    • Kitchen items: Special request items require prior approval and must be listed on the rental contract. Fees may apply to special request items and are determined on a per case basis.
Item Included Special request- Prior Approval required Not Included
Counters X
Sinks (disposal is a standard household strength disposal) X
Microwave X
Stove top and oven (reheat only- food must be fully prepared prior to arriving at the Church). X
Refrigerators (cold items should be brought and stored in coolers) x
Coffee machine x
Plates, cups, utensils (renter is responsible for washing, drying and putting away all items used) X
Pots, pans, serving dishes(renter is responsible for washing, drying and putting away all items used) X
Other kitchen equipment X
Linens x

The renter is responsible for cleaning the kitchen after use. Please do not leave any food, beverages or paper items in the kitchen after an event.

  • Courtyards and gardens:
    • Courtyards and gardens are available to rent for outdoor events or to provide additional area for fellowship for your event. Rental fees are not pre-set and are based on the event and how the space will be used.
  • Playgrounds:
    • There are 2 playgrounds available. The toddler playground is for ages 2-4 and the children’s playground is 4+. Children should be supervised at all times. Options for reserving/renting the playgrounds: Shared – gives you access to the playground but the playground is open for other church groups or renters to use. This option is not available for classes or large groups. Exclusive – gives you exclusive access to the playground. If another group attempts to use the playground, you may politely let them know that you have rented the playground for exclusive use and provide them the times you will be using the playground. Rental fees apply for exclusive use.
  • Conduct of Renters: Renter agrees to conduct its activities on Church premises in a safe, sound, and respectful manner, mindful of others who may also be using the Church premises. Renter will not store personal items in the Church unless specifically approved in writing by the Office Administrator or a member of the management team. Renter may adjust thermostat control within the Church but must return it to Run Program when they leave. Renter will not dramatically rearrange furniture or other items already in rooms.
  • Care of Space: Renter agrees to not hang items or alter rooms with nails or any permanently damaging method. Food service is restricted to the room rented and Renter is responsible for cleaning up all food and drink. Sink disposal in kitchen may be used by Renter for this purpose. Please note that no food or drinks are allowed in the Sanctuary or Sanctuary foyer. Please leave the room in a condition ready for the next renter, including erased blackboards. Fragranced candles, incense or air-borne aromas may not be used, and matches may not be stored in the classrooms. Pianos in rooms may not be played unless specified in the contract beforehand.
  • Lost and Found: The office maintains a lost and found box but is not responsible for items Renters leave behind. Items may be donated after 30 days. Send inquiries about lost and found items to
  • Child Care: Renters understand that childcare is their responsibility, and agree to provide care for their children during the term of this reservation, limiting care to rooms specified in the contract. Renter will care for children, being thoughtful of others in the building – hallways are not to be used as play areas. Children under the age of 18 may not be left unsupervised at any time. Furthermore, no children may use the Church playgrounds without adequate adult supervision, and the Church disclaims any liability for use of such playgrounds in violation of this provision. The playgrounds may be used only if approved in the contract. For Church-sponsored groups, childcare must be requested using the online form and submitted at least 14 days in advance.
  • Publicity: Renter may identify the Church in promoting the activity but Renter agrees that it will not imply or state that the Church is sponsoring Renter’s activity. Advertising such as fliers or newspaper ads, and websites, must provide the Renter’s contact information, not the Church’s. Renter agrees to not list the Church’s email address for any event scheduled by the Renter. No posting of flyers is permitted in the church.

IV. Renter Liability

  • Default/Damages: If Renter finds something broken or amiss, please call the church office (512) 452-6168 ext.300 before your activity occurs, so we have a record of the time the damage was reported. As mentioned in in the Additional Charges under section I, the Renter further agrees to reimburse the church for any damages caused to the building, fixtures or furniture as a result of Renter’s use of the space and agrees to replace or reimburse the Church for any other items (including food) consumed or destroyed by Renter or its invitees. In the event the Church must retain a lawyer to collect the unpaid rent, Renter agrees to be responsible for attorney’s fees.
  • Indemnity: Renter shall indemnify and the Church and its agents, members, and employees from all suits, actions, or claims of any character, type or description brought or made for or on account of any injuries, death or damages received by Renter, its employees, agents, members, invitees, or any property possessed by Renter, its employees, agents, members, or invitees which may arise out of or be occasioned by the acts of Church, its agents, members, or employees in the execution and performance of this contract or the presence of Renter, its employees, agents, members or invitees on property owned or operated by Church whether or not caused by the negligence of church, its agents, members, and employees.
  • Certificate of Insurance: Paid Renters are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) covering their event and attendees at First UU Church for the date and duration of the event(s). The COI should be submitted via email or received by the Office Administrator at least 10 business days prior to the event date (or first event date for recurring rentals). Failing to submit the COI by the deadline will result in cancellation of the event and all payments forfeited.

V. Building Closures

  • The Church is closed for the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day (Fourth of July), Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and closed for the winter holidays December 22, 2017 – January 2, 2018. Occasionally, there will be closures on a day other than an official holiday. In case of inclement weather, the Church will follow the Austin Independent School District (AISD)’s schedule for closings and delayed openings. A message announcing this will be on the general church voicemail.