Make Good Provisions – What You Need to Know
Make good provisions sometimes aren’t well understood, but they’re something every building owner and tenant should know about and understand on leased a premises, particularly before moving in or out.
Most rental agreements/lease arrangements will include a make good clause as a standard item. But what is a “make good”? A make good requires the tenant to return the premises back to the condition it was in when they began leasing the property. All furniture should be removed, and the premises must be left clean and tidy. Basically, the space needs to be brought back to its base shell or look identical to how it was when you moved in.
But how important is it to abide by this clause?
Tenants are already required to comply with common law obligations where the premises must be returned to a similar state, however, make good provisions go one step further. A make good clause allows the landlord to specify what happens if the tenant breaches these obligations and provides them with a contractual right to recover costs without needing to pursue the tenant in court.
What’s Included as a Make Good
As a tenant, what’s expected of you will vary depending on the property and the specific provisions included in the make good clause. The make good clause is only as good as the information put in it, so make sure you read this section of your contract thoroughly so that you know exactly what’s expected of you when it comes time to leave the premises.
Here are some examples of what may be included as part of a make good:
Repairs and Touch Ups
If you’ve made very few changes to the premises since moving in, all that may be required is a few repairs and touch ups. Any scuff marks, cracks, holes or any other type of damage on the walls may need some plaster or touch-up paintwork to make it look like new again.
When moving into the office, you may have gotten a little creative with paint colours or wallpaper to make the space match your branding. However, a new business moving into that location isn’t likely to appreciate your colour choices. For most office spaces, the walls need to be returned to a white painted surface – providing a blank canvas for the next tenant to do as they wish.
After the walls, floors are often then next thing businesses change when giving their office a makeover. Any carpet or vinyl that’s laid may need to be uplifted and removed before your lease is up. This includes the removal of any glue or adhesives applied.
Decals, Frosting and Signage
All evidence of your business needs to be removed from the property, including exterior signage, branded decals and frosting on glass surfaces. Frosting and decals can be tricky to get off, especially if they’ve been in place for a long time, so take your time and be careful when removing them to ensure the surface is left clean and clear.
You may have made structural changes to the office to create a great looking, functional space such as adding walls and partitions to divide up the area – but they may all need to be taken down if it’s listed as a make good provision. A full office renovation may have also included new doors and windows. In that case, any added window spaces may need to be patched and plastered, and additional door frames may also need to be walled in.
Fixtures and Fittings
When changing the layout of your office, your light fittings may also need to be adjusted and reconfigured to suit the original open plan layout. Any other items that have been fixed to your premises may also need to be removed such as hooks for artworks or shelving attached to the wall.
Joinery and Bulkheads
Adding extra design features such as bulkheads on the ceiling or built in joinery for practical storage can be great additions to any workspace, but in many cases, they will need to be removed as part of your make good provisions.
At times, services (particularly air conditioning) may have been relocated to suit your office layout with various rooms or number of occupants etc. At the end of a lease, the make good provision for services may require you to relocate these back to suit an ‘open plan’ layout. You will need to engage professionals to carry out this work and ensure compliance.
Check Your Make Good Provisions Before Making Changes to Your Office
Completing a make good can be a lot of work (and costly)! Especially if it means making changes to or removing most, if not all, of the items listed above.
To avoid completing a make good that’s too extensive, make sure you look at the make good provisions when leasing a new office so you know how many alterations you can get away with. The fewer provisions there are, the more changes you can make to the space without needing to rectify it when moving out.
We suggest to our clients that they try and negotiate the terms of a make-good with the landlord to save them money. Sometimes it works out that the new tenant coming into the space is happy with the layout of the existing space, which means the new tenant doesn’t have to pay for a fitout and the tenant moving out saves on a make-good! Win Win!
Get the Help You Need to Meet Your Make Good Obligations
When your lease comes to an end and if you’re required to complete a make good as part of your lease obligations, give our team a call at Future Fitouts.
We will put the time and effort in to ensure all make good provisions are met and return the premises back to its original state.
Visit our Make Good & De-Fit page to find out more.