The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on businesses and their working practices. The majority of office workers have been working from home for over a year now and we’re seeing all sorts of emerging trends when it comes to office design.
As many are looking at how and when they’ll return to the office, they’re looking at all sorts of options from downsizing and embracing a more flexible approach with hot desking and the option for employees to work from home to agile working or expanding their office space.
Either way, now is the perfect time to make a change with minimal disruption to your employees, and if you’re thinking of moving to a new workspace, it’s likely that you’ll need to undergo an office dilapidation.
As a business owner, when you lease a commercial office you will probably want to make changes to the workspace to accommodate your business needs. This might include putting up partitioning, decorating your office to promote your brand and perhaps even changing kitchen and toilet areas.
But when your commercial property lease comes to an end, as the tenant, your lease probably requires you to return the premises to the landlord in a good condition in order to retain your deposit and avoid additional fees.
Office dilapidation is the process of making the required repairs during or at the end of a tenancy or lease and typically involves the restoration of a commercial workspace back to its original condition prior to occupation.
A typical office dilapidation might include:
The removal of office partitioning
Redecoration to remove company signs, colours and branding
Stripping out data and electrical power cables
Re-commissioning of air conditioning units
Repairs to plumbing in kitchens and washrooms
Repairing or replacing flooring, tiling ceilings and lighting
Making improvements based on new legislation
Waste disposal including unwanted office furniture, fixtures, and fittings
General office cleaning
If you’ve been leasing the same property for a number of years, it’s likely that you’ll have made some improvements to the property, whether it be cosmetic or structural. Unfortunately, unless the landlord decides to make an exception, you must abide by the dilapidation clause in your tenancy agreement. In which case, as counterintuitive as it might sound, you might be required to put the workspace back to the way you found it.
Some landlords will appoint a surveyor to carry out a schedule of dilapidation to assess the condition of the property and identify anything that needs to be altered before the lease is up. The schedule usually covers three main aspects: repair, reinstatement and redecoration.
Remember not to leave it all until the last minute. When you’re nearing the end of your office lease, be sure to allow enough time to carry out the required works. Whether you’re using a professional office fit-out contractor or you’re taking on the work yourself, check the lease thoroughly so you know what needs to be done.
If it’s a case of making a few repairs or redecorating then the process is pretty straightforward and you might be able to handle it in-house. But what if you need to totally transform your workspace and return it back to the way you found it, or to whatever standard your dilapidation clause demands? If this is the case, you’ll probably need to appoint a professional office fit-out company to carry out the work for you. That’s where we come in!
At McFeggan Brown, we have decades of experience in working with companies that are struggling to meet the demands of their dilapidation clause. We’ll work closely with you to ensure the entire process runs as smoothly as possible. Contact us today to find out more about our fully managed dilapidations service.