When setting up a dental practice one of the most integral and over looked components is reviewing and negotiating your lease. Leases are always drafted to be heavily in favour of the landlord. Having a lawyer review a lease for your ensure that you know what you are signing and helps you negotiate better lease terms.
It’s important to do the necessary due diligence to make sure that you are paying an amount that will ensure your practice can thrive financially. With our experience, we can assist you in determining if you are paying a fair rental rate.
Need to get out of the space, or want to move to a new location? It should be relatively easy, unless you need the landlord’s permission. Sometimes the landlords include provisions that limit to whom you can sub-let. It’s important to have a complete legal analysis about this when you sign your lease.
Assignment of Lease
Want to sell your practice and move on? Selling your practice should be your decision and your decision alone. However, how do you assign your lease (transfer all rights and obligations) to the buyer? How much of a say does/should your landlord have? Often landlords can argue that they have a say in who you sell your practice to and insist on seeing the buyer’s financial information. The result is that the process of buying or selling a practice becomes unnecessarily long and difficult. To save yourself some time and protect your business interest have a lawyer negotiate the lease in your favour so you have full control on your business.
Typically, a Landlord will insert a clause in the lease that states that if you assign your lease, you are still on the hook if the new tenant defaults. Careful review of the form of indemnity or guarantee the landlord is asking you to sign is very important. We can also assist you in negotiating with the landlord to have the indemnity or guarantee section of the lease waived based on your profession and quality of covenant.
Having a new Dental Practice, only to have another Practice open up in the same building or plaza as you will take your attention from what really matters (your patients) and make you focus on protecting your business. Ensuring you have an airtight Exclusivity Clause will reduce the local competition and allow your burgeoning practice to flourish.
This is usually another area of contention between Tenants and Landlords. Tenants want a long term lease with a renewal period in the middle. Whereas the Landlord wants a shorter deal so that the rent can be renegotiated and raised incrementally to match the fair market value of similar premises in the surrounding area. You don’t want to have rent raised on you every few years, so have your lawyer negotiate the right lease renewal options for you.
Option to Purchase
Sometimes you may want to rent and negotiate an option to purchase. After building a vibrant practice over the course of your 10 year lease the owner may want you to leave. Or perhaps, he has sold the property to another owner and they want you to vacate the unit. It is always good to have the option to purchase the unit you have been renting rather than losing all the goodwill (reputation) you have built in your community over the years.
Death / Disability or Loss of License
If something happens to you and you are no longer able to practice dentistry, it is in your best interest to get out of the lease if you choose to do so, especially in the event you are not able to sell the practice. Negotiating this type of clause into your lease is something we can help you with.
The type of business you are able to carry on at the leased premises can be restricted by the Landlord if not properly worded. For example, if you only have the ability to carry on “general dentistry” from the leased premises, you may be restricted from practicing on your own or bringing in people to provided specialty dental services.