Office Fit-out Checklist

Fitting out an office or commercial premises, either throughout the building or in specific areas, requires careful project planning.

  • Will the space and resources allow for optimum workplace efficiencies and easy communication?
  • Can you create a working environment that fosters employee motivation and wellbeing and that provides an excellent impression of your organisation to customers and stakeholders?

An office fit-out checklist for moving into or relocating to a new business premises should also initially cover these key areas:

  • Does the premises meet all the necessary health & safety and disability access requirements?
  • Is the electrical and mechanical equipment in the building in sound condition and fully satisfactory for your demands?
  • Are the incoming communications in terms of IT cabling, fibre optics and BT lines completely satisfactory for your requirements?
  • Will the building and its location meet your needs in terms of on-site parking facilities and good transportation links?
  • How can the project be carried out with minimum disruption and downtime for your business?

Commercial lease liabilities

Equally important for an office fit-out checklist are the parameters and constraints of the premises lease, which may also affect any future office refurbishment operations a business wishes to undertake.

It is vital that incoming business tenants are fully aware of their liabilities within the lease. A full repairing lease can be a major financial burden to take on. What needs to be established includes:

  • To what extent is the tenant responsible for internal repairs to structure of the premises?
  • Is there tenant responsibility for repairs to the external building and site?
  • Does the lease exclude the tenant from responsibility for any pre-existing disrepair or defect in the building?
  • If the tenant installs any fixture in the premises, does this remain their property or become that of the landlord if the tenant wishes to relocate?

Licences to alter

New commercial tenants naturally may wish to make alterations to the premises they are leasing to suit their business operations. Landlords of commercial premises generally look on their property as an investment and as such should look favourably on improvements proposed by the tenant.

So, an office fit-out checklist may well need to include the following key aspects in negotiations between landlords and tenants:

  • With a commercial lease, a landlord may insist on a licence to alter, which is a legal document forming part of the lease deal
  • This requirement can apply to both new build and older properties and can involve a lengthy process
  • To achieve a licence to alter, tenants may need to produce a design and specification document relating to the alterations proposed. As commercial office interior specialists, Glenside can assist in the preparation of these documents

The licence to alter process can involve a number of parties, including the landlord’s managing agent, property agents, surveyors and solicitors for both sides. If not well handled, these negotiations can spiral into difficulties. At Glenside we see our role as aiming to rationalise lines of communication and minimise the complexity of the process, saving costs and time.

Getting expert support

For over 40 years, Glenside has carried out many and wide ranging office relocation, refurbishment and design projects. Please contact us to help you create the office fit-out checklist suitable for your business and to support you in moving to new office premises and helping to overcome any legal obstacles. 

Office fit-out case studies

Glenside's space planning and office design expertise enabled a leading organic food wholesaler to expand their operation and enhance their working environment without moving premises.

 pdf icon Find out how


In only five weeks, Glenside handled an office relocation and full fit-out for a leading global supplier of digital signage and display solutions.

 office fit out case study Find out how

Office fit-out definitions

Every profession and industry has its own terminology which can sometimes be confusing for the outsider. The use of obscure acronyms or jargon such as "touchdown station" or "swing space" is hardly helpful and can be an irritating barrier to communication between service providers and their clients.