Reading time: 4 minutes

There are several steps that tenants need to complete at the end of a retail lease. If you are a tenant, it is vital that you take the time to ensure that you correctly carry out these steps. Part of the end of lease process includes ensuring that you undertake all of the required redecorations and satisfy your make good obligations. Following this, the landlord will inspect the property to ensure that they are satisfied with the condition. If you have met all of your responsibilities under the lease, the landlord will return the security deposit or bank guarantee. This article provides a checklist for tenants who are approaching the end of their retail lease.

A Few Months Before the End of the Lease

Redecoration and Repair

Check your lease to see what your redecoration and repair obligations are. It Is common for leases to contain a clause that states the tenant must repair and redecorate at the end of the lease term. Repairing and redecorating can include:

  • repainting the walls;
  • replacing carpets; or
  • refinishing floorings.

If you are required to repair and redecorate, you must ensure that you understand the standard to which the works must be carried out. For example, some leases set out the quality, type and number of layers of paint that must go onto the walls.

Make Good Obligations

Check the make good clause in your lease to see what it requires of you at the end of the lease.Typically, your lease should allow for normal wear and tear, but will also usually require you to reinstate the condition of the premises to what it was at the start of the lease.

Your make good obligations may include:

  • removing any fittings and fixtures, you have installed for your fit-out or any other time during the lease term;
  • repairing any damage caused during the lease;
  • cleaning the property thoroughly.

If there is an existing condition report, you can refer to this to see the condition that you are expected to return the property to. It is essential to allow sufficient time to carry out these works before the end of your lease.

At the End of the Lease

Ideally, the make good works should be complete by the expiry of the lease. Additionally, any of your property should be removed from the premises. Often, leases contain a clause that gives the landlord ownership of your property if it has not been removed by the time the lease expires. In this case, the landlord can dispose of the property as they see fit.

When you have completed the redecoration and make good works, you should notify the landlord in writing. Typically, the landlord will organise a time to inspect the property. The inspection is intended to ensure that you have complied with your redecoration and make good obligations under the lease.

If the landlord thinks that you have not completed the make good works to the required standard, they may want to engage their contractors to do the work. The landlord may try and recover these costs from your bank guarantee or security deposit.

You should check your lease to see in what instances the landlord can undertake repair work on your behalf. In many cases, a landlord can call on the bank guarantee or security deposit without giving you any notice.

After the End of the Lease

Once you have satisfied all of your obligations under the lease, you should request the landlord return your bank guarantee or security deposit.

Your lease may specify a time frame for the return of the bank guarantee or security deposit. If your lease does not state a timeframe, the landlord should return it:

  • as soon as reasonably possible; or
  • in a timeframe specified in relevant retail lease legislation. For example, in New South Wales, the timeframe for return of the bank guarantee or security deposit is two months after the tenant has satisfied their obligations under the lease.

Key Takeaways

There are several steps that tenants need to take at the end of the lease. These steps ensure that the end of lease process runs smoothly. It is essential to check your lease and ensure that you are familiar with your end of lease obligations.

You should arrange a time to carry out redecoration, repair and make good works. Once this work is complete and you have satisfied all of your obligations under the lease, you should request the return of your bank guarantee or security deposit. If you have any questions, contact LegalVision’s leasing lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Webinars

Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Online
Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Online
As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards