Man signing a lease to a veterinary practice.

Things to Look Out for When Entering a Veterinary Practice Lease

If you are planning on opening up your own veterinary practice, it’s imperative that you enter into a lease that will allow your business to thrive. All too often, veterinarians shoot themselves in the foot by entering into unfavorable leases. A bad lease can severely hinder your business, robbing you of valuable profits that could be utilized to help grow your practice and improve the services you provide to your clients. Therefore, before signing a lease, you should contact an experienced veterinary lease attorney for assistance. Below are some things to look out for when entering a veterinary practice lease. 

Extra Rents

When you enter into a lease, it’s important to understand the full amount you’ll have to pay. If you fail to account for certain expenses, you may be in for a shock when you receive your first bill from your landlord. In addition to base rent, many veterinary practice leases require the payment of additional rents that represent a portion of the landlord’s expenses. Make sure you are clear on what these are before you sign a veterinary practice lease. 

Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC provisions

Most veterinary practice leases require the tenant to maintain and repair certain equipment in the building, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. If the equipment is in bad condition, you may end up having to come out of pocket for repairs or replacement. Therefore, if you assume these obligations in your lease, you must first make sure that all systems are in good condition. 

Assignment/Subletting

If you ever end up selling your practice or joining a larger practice, you’ll need to have the ability to assign or sublet your lease. Therefore, before entering into a lease, you need to make sure that it provides you with the ability to assign or sublet to a new tenant with the consent of the landlord. In addition, you should ensure that your liability terminates upon assignment to a new tenant. 

Size

Finally, if you rent a space that’s part of a larger building, you may have to pay rent for space in excess of the actual size of your office. This extra amount is due to the “loss factor.” The loss factor is the percentage of the gross area of a space lost due to elevators, janitorial closets, walls, and other common areas. When you begin to check out potential locations for your practice, ask the landlord if there’s a loss factor and what the percentage is. Your veterinary lease attorney will take the loss factor of a location into account when negotiating on your behalf. 

Contact Our Experienced Veterinary Lease Attorneys 

Before entering into a veterinary practice lease, you absolutely must obtain the services of an experienced veterinary lease attorney. At Mahan Law, we are dedicated to helping veterinary professionals achieve their business objectives. Understanding that landlords often try to charge veterinarians as much rent as possible, we utilize our legal knowledge and negotiating skills to obtain the most favorable lease terms possible for our clients. When you become our client, we will put your best interests first and help you avoid the common pitfalls of renting veterinary space. Please contact us today for a consultation.