If your business is getting ready to move after a long lease term, you are probably starting to think about the make good clause in your lease. Here are a few tips for how to make good as you prepare to move, as suggested in the article “How to: make good at the end of your lease”:
- Review the lease agreement. Check the make good clause in your lease. These clauses vary from lease to lease—some are extremely vague, while others have very specific instructions.
- Make a list of any changes. List anything in the property that you have changed. The best way to make sure you include everything is to start at the front of your office and walk around it in a clockwise pattern, making note of any changes as you go. Be sure to cover the following common changes:
- Painting or other wall decorations
- Added electrical points or lighting
- Storage or fittings, including shelves
- Floating carpet or floorboards
- Computer areas
- Heating and cooling
- Window treatments
- Check with the landlord. Once you have taken care of listing everything you have changed, talk to your landlord about what to do regarding the changes. Sometimes landlord will allow changes to remain because they are improvements to the space, but some might require a cash settlement instead of making good. Often this benefits both new and old tenants if the new tenants are planning to remodel anyway.
- Redecorate as needed. Particularly if you are a long term tenant, you might be required to repaint the walls white or replace carpets.
- Clean up. It is always good to leave your premises in a clean condition. It is a universal practice to do any minor repairs and maintenance to get the place back to it’s original condition, even if these things are not specifically itemized in a lease.
It is equally important to create a clear make good clause upfront, which can benefit both the tenant and the landlord Sometimes this is impractical if agents really need a tenant to sign a lease and the make good clause is causing problems, since usually new tenants are more concerned about how to make the space their own, rather than with how t get it back to its original condition years down the line. However, it is worth it for both parties to make clear and fair arrangements upfront, then take photos of the space to make it easier to get it back to how it was and avoid any disagreements about the original state of the space.