Redecoration Clauses: An Explainer

Jan 17, 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Eamon Fraser-Crooks

Redecoration clauses are common in commercial leases. Tenants often need to ensure that they maintain the property in good order and appearance throughout the term of the lease. The lease might include requirements for how often the tenant needs to refurbish or refit the premises. Redecoration clause requirements will generally apply throughout the lease. These requirements are distinct from the tenants obligations to “make good” at the end of the lease. Retail leases often include redecoration clauses because the appearance of one tenancy can impact the surrounding retail businesses.

What is Redecoration?

Landlords often want to make sure that their property is maintained with a fresh and new appearance. A redecoration clause can help to maintain the “look and feel” of the premises. A redecoration clause will usually require the tenant to refurbish or refit the property on a specified schedule. For example, the lease might require that the tenant carry out refurbishment works “at least every 3 years”. The clause may also specify what works need to be done. For example, the lease might require repainting of walls and fixing of any existing damage.

Redecoration is distinct from the make good requirements of a lease. Most commercial leases require that the tenant “make good” the property at the end of the lease. This usually requires the tenant to return the property to how it was when the lease was signed. The obligations in a make good clause only come into effect at the end of the tenancy. In contrast, a redecoration clause requires the tenant to undertake works throughout the tenancy.

Complying With a Redecoration Clause

It is important to ensure that you comply with all valid terms and clauses included in a commercial lease. This includes ensuring that you comply with redecoration clauses. To make sure that you comply with the terms of the lease, you need to carry out the specified works within the designated timeframes. However when the landlord and tenant disagree about the works required disputes can often arise. If you have a dispute with your lessor about the requirements in a redecoration clause you need to try to resolve the dispute. Failing to comply with the terms of a lease can result in financial penalties and termination of the lease.

To avoid these kinds of disputes arising, it is important to ensure that you understand the terms of the lease, including any redecoration clause, from the outset. The terms of the lease are one of the most important things to consider when looking for a premises for your business. If you aren’t happy with the terms of a redecoration clause, you can try to negotiate the terms with the lessor. It is better to negotiate terms that you can comply with from the beginning instead of trying to resolve a dispute after the lease has been signed. It is a good idea to consult a lease lawyer prior to signing a commercial lease. A lease lawyer can help you understand your obligations under the lease. They can also help you to negotiate the terms of the lease with your lessor.

Conclusion

Redecoration clauses require tenants to maintain the good order and appearance of a property throughout the tenancy. They usually include specific requirements of works to be undertaken. Failure to comply with the terms of a lease can result in financial penalties or termination so it is important to understand and comply with redecoration clauses. A lease lawyer can help you to understand the terms of the lease and negotiate better terms. This means it is a good idea to consult a lease lawyer before signing a commercial lease.

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