Making Good at the End Of Your Commercial Lease Term

So your commercial lease contract has come to an end and you’ve decided to move on. Whatever reason you’ve opted to vacate the premises, you as the tenant will have an obligation to leave the space in as good a condition as it was when you moved in: this is called ‘making good at the end of a lease’ and failing to do so is more trouble than it’s worth. Specialist commercial lease solicitor Glenn Duker offers some helpful information on how to wrap up a rental agreement without burning any bridges.


How to make good

It’s awkwardly worded, I know, but a ‘make good’ clause is often a standard feature of any commercial lease agreement. It stipulates that a vacating tenant must restore the commercial space to its original condition prior to their moving in. It’s more often than not a requirement when a tenant has leased a property as a ‘shell’ and has been able to fit it out to suit their requirements. Failing to “make good” at the end of a lease can result in legal action as a breach of the lease term agreement, and nobody wants to endure a legal brouhaha! So here is what you need to do to ensure you’ve fulfilled your obligations.


Examine the lease agreement with a fine tooth comb

Make good clauses can often be ambiguously worded and cloudy, but sometimes they’re very clear and leave no shadow of doubt. Read over your lease contract to ascertain whether it has a number of unexpected inclusions and exceptions. If you need a professional opinion, don’t hesitate to get one – it’s worth it!


Document all changes you make to the property

When it comes to the end of the lease you don’t want to be left thinking ‘did I do that or was it already like that when I got here?’ Leave a copy of all changes with your property manager. Doing so leaves no room for uncertainty and everyone will be on the same page. The list should include things like fittings and fixtures, electrical points and lighting, painted walls, partitions, floor surfaces (e.g. addition of carpeting, tiling and linoleum) and signage among other items. It’s always wise to check with the landlord before you hit the ‘undo all changes’ button on the premises though – they might consider some of your changes an improvement and want to keep them!


Keep the premises clean

It’s fairly commonsense, but do make sure that when you hand the keys back that the premises are in a clean and tidy state.


These are just some of the things you as a tenant can do to make good at the end of your lease term and avoid potential legal troubles. If, however, you do find yourself facing or initiating legal action, a commercial lease specialist like lawyer Glenn Duker can provide you with all the necessary advice to help your case.

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