For many healthcare tenants, negotiating a good lease or lease renewal against an experienced agent or landlord can be a challenge. While a doctor focuses on proper patient care, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.
As explained in our new book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES, tenants may go through the leasing process only two or three times in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. Negotiating appropriate leasing terms is vital for a doctor as the amount of rent he pays will directly affect the practice’s financial bottom line.
Whether you are leasing a new location for the first time or negotiating a lease renewal for your practice, these are some money-saving tips for healthcare tenants:
Need Vacancy Protection? If proper tenant mix and traffic flow are important to you, then you may need vacancy protection. Look around the property and ask yourself – would it adversely affect my practice if any of these tenants moved out of this building or the property was 30% – or more – vacant?” For doctors, this can be important if one of the anchor tenants (or a neighboring pharmacy where patients can pick up prescriptions …) relocates. Therefore, you should negotiate in advance for an automatic rent reduction or even the right to terminate your own lease should the property’s tenant mix or occupancy rate be compromised to your practice’s detriment.
Check Your Gross Up: Healthcare tenants (located in an office building) occasionally get their commercial space grossed up to compensate for common areas. There is also the Rentable versus Usable floor area (or R/U factor) where columns or bay windows negatively affected your leased area (this is unusable space which you are needlessly paying for). Your landlord could be charging you for more square footage than you actually have.
For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to [email protected].
Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Jeff and Dale 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 [email protected] or [email protected] or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.