Five Parking Pitfalls for Medical Office Tenants

Dale and Jeff - Back to BackBy Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield – The Lease Coach

Do you have enough parking spaces for your patients, you and your staff? It’s a common problem The Lease Coach sees with both new and established medical offices. We’ve discussed the problems with parking in our new book Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals For Dummies in greater detail but here are a number of factors to consider.

Parking space availability and location: Are there enough stalls for all to use? Where are these parking spaces – in front of, behind or at the side of the building? Parking spots beside or behind the building may not be immediately visible to visitors. Are the spaces “rush parking” (first-come, first-served) or assigned specifically for your practice’s use? These “designated” parking spots are desirable and discourage others from taking your space(s).

Parking Charges: For many physician tenants, parking is free. But for some, monthly parking charges for vehicles can range from $85/month to several hundreds of dollars per month. Even if you are prepared to pay for parking, don’t assume it will be available. Parking meters or a pay-to-park system lead to a cost for your patients as well. With lengthy appointments, this cost can increase dramatically and your patients may not be able to simply run outside and put more money in a parking meter; they also risk being ticketed.

Number of Spaces: In our experience of working for doctor tenants, we recall visiting a couple of doctors who had hired us to negotiate a new lease in a property they had found and liked. When we arrived at the property, it was around 10:00 a.m. and the parking lot was packed with other cars. We pointed this out and questioned just how busy would this same lot be after the vacant units were occupied with more tenants. With hearing this advice, these two doctors wisely decided it would be in their best interests to not pursue this leasing opportunity.

Put it in Writing: We also well remember a couple of other doctors who had been practicing for almost 18 years in the same property and hired The Lease Coach to negotiate their lease renewal. These two doctors were very frustrated that their landlord had converted the property’s free parking facility into paid parking – this, of course, would greater inconvenience these doctor’s visiting patients. Your parking situation may not remain the same.

For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail your request to DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com.

Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield – The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Dale and Jeff are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals For Dummies (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.

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