By Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton
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:
Turnkey Construction Advice
If the landlord does your leasehold improvements, he is supposed to turnkey the commercial space. It’s up to the healthcare tenant to create a comprehensive wish list of the necessary improvements to be done. In the Offer to Lease, stipulate that the landlord does the space design, secures permits, and completes the job by a specific deadline. Any extras or add-ons will be the tenant’s responsibility … therefore, make sure that your Offer to Lease is conditional upon your satisfaction with the final budgeted cost.
Tenant Allowance Advice
Receiving a Tenant Allowance from the landlord will assist you with doing leasehold improvements. Sometimes you can negotiate some of the money up-front (such as one-third upon signing the Offer to Lease) so won’t have to finance 100% of it. To avoid confusion, stipulate exactly when the allowance is to be paid. Occasionally, a landlord won’t or can’t pay the money promised. You can try to include a clause that says if the landlord doesn’t pay the allowance, then the tenant will receive 150% of the value of the allowance in free rent. Either way, this provides your landlord with incentive to pay or you with reasonable compensation.
For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach.com.
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 DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com or JeffGrandfield@TheLeaseCoach.com or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com.