The end of a commercial lease is a big undertaking for a business. There are many things to consider, including relocation of equipment, inspections, updating clients and suppliers, along with a whole host of other details. One factor that is often ignored until the last moment is the “Make Good” clauses in most commercial contracts. While they can cause headaches for some businesses, NDY Property Consultancy Manager Simon Tillbrook has found a way to simplify a part of the process for his client, while benefitting a worthwhile charity.

What is “Make Good”?

The make-good provision in a commercial real estate lease is a standard inclusion to return a premises back to its condition when first rented, regardless of any improvements done in the meantime. With modern offices needing many bespoke fitout elements, this can be a costly undertaking.

Many businesses also take this as an opportunity to update their workspace, so old furniture and fitout elements are discarded and sent to landfill. Simon was aiding a client in one such Make Good project when he saw an opportunity to help a worthwhile charity.

A step in the right direction

“We were helping a client taking over a new space, and the previous tenant had left their furniture behind, which was all marked for disposal,” says Simon. “The amount of waste that comes from a typical make good project is quite staggering. Sending perfectly good office furniture to landfill is a terrible waste, so we looked into options to recycle the furniture.”

“We connected with a local charity called House with no steps, a disability service provider, and we were pleased that they could use the chairs, tables and sofas in their office and respite homes, which otherwise would have gone to landfill.”

The House with no steps is one of Australia’s leading providers of disability services. Their work ensure people with a disability have greater choice, control, and freedom. Established in 1962 by Lionel Watts, CMG, MBE, House with No Steps has been supporting people with a disability for over 50 years. The focus has remained the same: enabling people with a disability to realise their personal aspirations and goals. 

The donated items included tables, chairs, lounges, desks, divider and a special surprise bonus.

“There was a rather large letter ‘P’ left behind,” says Simon. “We were thinking ‘we will have to throw this out’, but as luck would have it, a Manager of House with No Steps is a wonderful person named Pauline, so we thought we would give it to her.” 

The recipient of the two metre tall letter, Learning & Culture Manager of House with No Steps Pauline Luttrell, sent a thank you email saying to Simon and the Asset Performance team, saying: “I wanted to send you a big THANK YOU for the generous donation of office furniture to the Belrose team at House with No Steps. We are one of Australia’s leading disability service providers and are dedicated to giving people with a disability greater choice, control and freedom.”

“As a charitable organisation we focus our funding on our customers and sometimes this means we have very simple office furniture. The recycled furniture you have kindly donated has put a smile on the teams faces and came just when we needed it.”

According to Pauline, the charity had to recently refit their lower ground floor offices due to water damage, with all the furniture requiring replacement. 

“We managed to obtain some desks but didn’t have enough working desk chairs,” Pauline explains. “When Simon mentioned that he may be able to provide some I was very excited and got our team involved. We also picked up some lounges, the black leather ones have been put in our canteen area where our supported employees have lunch (we employ people with disabilities in our packaging and canteen at Belrose) and these have meant we could replace some fairly old lounges. “

“The red lounges have made their way down to the lower ground and staff use them for informal meetings and when the want to read documents in comfort. However the biggest talking point has been the letter P – everyone wants their own letter now! It has pride of place outside my office.” 

Simon and the Asset Performance team were justifiably proud of their contribution, both from a charitable perspective, and from a sustainability point of view. “Often, such items are discarded following a vacancy, so being able to help a valuable charity continue their great work is immensely rewarding,” he beams. “It really shows how a small bit of thought and consideration can make a big difference for people. I’m very proud of the team, and hope House with No Steps can continue their great work.”

How to support the House with No Steps

This year, the House with No Steps needs to raise over $4 million from the community to continue their support for over 3,000 children and adults with a disability. If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile charity, please visit:
or call 1300 LETS GO (1300 538 746).

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