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:
Moving? Have Them Pay
Moving costs can be an item that most healthcare tenants overlook during the negotiation process. In some cases, this is a negotiable point, especially if your tenancy has been aggressively prospected by a leasing agent. Don’t make the mistake of just stating that the landlord will have to pay the moving costs. Instead, make an estimated but detailed price list for having telephone lines relocated, printing new business cards and letterhead, forwarding of mail, hiring a moving company, and so on. In lieu of a cash payment, you can offer to accept the moving allowance in free base rent.
Negotiate Renewal Option(s)
Don’t forget to negotiate your Renewal Option(s) in advance and specify it it/they is/are assignable. Some leases state that renewal options cannot be assigned or transferred – thereby potentially making it more difficult to eventually sell the practice. Stating that the renewal option be for up to five years (for example) will give you more flexibility if you only want to renew for two more years, instead of five. Renewal Option wording can be tricky … read this very carefully.
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.