Undertaking a de-fit is something that any commercial renter is likely to experience when moving offices. But a de-fit doesn’t have to be something you dread, as long as you’re organised and plan ahead. To help you out, we’ve come up with the ultimate do and don’ts list to keep you on the right path throughout the entire de-fitting process.
Do Refer to Your Lease Agreement
Not sure what or how much you are required to do for your de-fit? The work involved for your de-fit will be stipulated in your lease agreement with your landlord. In most cases, the standard requirement is to return the premises to its original condition.
When we say ‘original condition’ this includes everything from the colour of the walls to the carpet on the floors. Think of it as returning the office into a blank canvas. This needs to take place so the next renter or buyer can easily see how their business and brand could make the most of the space. If your branding colours and unique styling is still in place, it makes it harder for other companies to project their vision onto the space.
Don’t Forget to Do Your De-Fit
Some business owners get so excited about moving to their new office that they neglect their previous residence and forget that a de-fit is a requirement they must undergo. To make sure you are on top of it, start making arrangements as soon as you know your lease is coming to an end. Even if you do forget, your landlord is likely to remind you as the moving out date approaches.
Do Keep Track of All Changes You Make to The Office
As soon as you move into a new office, make a note of all the changes you make so that when it’s time to move and complete your de-fit, you’ll know exactly what needs to go. This is especially the case if you already know that you’re only going to be in the office temporarily.
If instead you’ve moved into an office for good and intend to stay there for as long as possible, do keep in mind that things change. In a few years’ time, you may find the office is too small for your growing business, your services are more sought after in a different location, or you may find an office that has a layout that’s more suitable.
It’s for these reasons that all office changes should be recorded so that if an office move does end up taking place, you already have all the information you need on hand to get on with the de-fit.
Don’t Do More Than You Need To
Don’t get carried away during the de-fit process and bite off more than you need to chew. In most cases, it should be fairly easy to tell what needs to stay and what has to go. For most offices, you can be pretty sure the walls, doors and ceilings will remain unless significant layout changes were made during your residency. Often bathroom and kitchen fittings will stay as is too. And if you’re ever in doubt, just refer to your lease agreement.
Do Have a De-Fit Check List
Having a physical copy of all the changes to be made on the day of your de-fit will help a great deal to ensure nothing gets missed. Some of the most common elements that may need to be removed or changed during a de-fit includes:
- Joinery & bulkheads
- Added walls
- Decals / Frosting
- Floor coverings
- Light fittings
- Repaint walls and ceilings
- Fixtures and fittings
- Wall repairs
Once all the necessary changes have been made, don’t forget to give the office one final clean so it looks like new again.
Don’t Remove Anything That Was Already There When You Moved In.
Make sure anything that was part of the original office remains when you leave. Even if there was a really great feature in the office you’d like to remove and bring to your new place, if it was part of the premises when you first moved in, you must leave it be. The landlord is bound to know that it’s missing and will likely charge you for it or ask you to put it back.
If there’s anything you want to remove that’s above and beyond the lease agreement, simply put in a polite request with your landlord before the de-fit process takes place to see if you’re allowed to keep it.
Do Get Help from a Professional
Although you may consider undertaking the de-fit yourself, in the end, it pays to get a professional to help you out. When going it alone, you will always risk doing damage, especially when it comes to removing tricky fixtures and fittings. If that happens, fixing up the mistake could end up costing more than the price you would pay for a fitout project manager.
It is possible to complete a de-fit that’s free from stress and hassle. Don’t leave your de-fit up to chance and do speak with our team at Future Fitouts for more information and to receive a quote. Call 1300 368 461.