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BEFORE YOU SIGN YOUR LEASE - PROTECT YOURSELF: MAKE A "WALK THROUGH" CHECKLIST

A couple of weeks back we spoke about reading the Fitout Manual.

One of the conditions you’ll find in it and in almost all leasing arrangements for that matter, is having to “make good” at the end of your lease after you move out.

So, let’s talk about protecting yourself from any future unexpected costs and possible blame game tactics by doing something very simple before you sign up your lease, move in and start operating your business.

First up, ask for a Walk Through with your landlord or agent to make a list of any defects the space might have. It may save a lot of grief later.
It’s most likely that you’ll need to “make good” to return the space to the condition you found it in, so take a camera to record your walk through.

Here’s a brief checklist to follow:

The Outside:

Paintwork or rendered concrete in good condition? Any graffiti needing removal?  Entry door working well?  Any broken glass in the shopfront or other windows ?

The Inside:

Ceiling –The plaster or ceiling tiles in good condition? Are all of the light fittings working? Any marks where water may have entered?

Walls – Depending upon whether you’re going to change them or not, take note of the condition of  things like the skirtings, doors, glass panels, and the plasterboard. Are there any gaps, patches, cracks, holes ?

Floors – Again, you may not worry if you’re replacing the floor coverings, but check for things like broken or chipped tiles, vinyl joints or welds, worn carpet spots, transition strips between changes of flooring types. Spot the defects!

Appliances and Fittings – sink, taps, basins, door handles, microwave, air conditioning units - are they all up to scratch? Are they all in good working order? Is the air conditioner super noisy?

Data points, cabling, electrics - Your new fitout probably will need to upgrade these but check anyway: Does cabling run through the skirtings? Does the power board have circuit breakers installed? Are all of the power points working?

Here’s a few general tips:

If you notice any pre-existing damage, make sure the photos/ video you take are date stamped. Store a copy yourself and give one to your landlord.  Protect yourself.

Once you’ve completed your list, try to negotiate terms and conditions with your landlord or agent based on what you’ve seen.

In another blog we’ll talk about the Defit – for when you are on the move.  First things first!

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