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Precautions to Take Before Checking a Dental Space for Lease

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Are you looking for a commercial space for your dental practice in the Washington area? The first thing you need to understand about a dental space for lease is that it is not the same as finding a house.

The natural choice would be to look up commercial real estate listings, as they are experts with large databases to fall back on, besides their local market knowledge expertise. You may find agents representing landlords or agents representing tenants, and there are also a few who play both roles with surprising agility.

Considering that the rental expense takes up a significant portion of a dental practice, you need to spend valuable time looking for the most suitable space. Here are some tips to consider:

The Type of Lease

You need to double-check the type of lease on offer before signing on the dotted line. A “gross lease” or a “complete service lease” is suitable for people who want everything taken care of at one go. Such leases cover all expenses, including rent, taxes, janitorial services, insurance cover, maintenance, etc. Since it is a total lease, the base rent could be higher. One advantage with a gross lease is that all expenses are fixed, and the landlord cannot throw any surprise expenses related to the building.

Another popular lease is the “triple net lease,” often referred to as the NNN lease in realty parlance. You pay a monthly base rent for the space you occupy and a mutually agreed percentage of the common area maintenance charges (parking area, lobby, elevator, storage, etc.). 

Besides these expenses, you need to pay the property insurance charges and the property taxes. Of course, you can insist on a cap for the maintenance charges, which the landlord may or may not agree to. The law favors dentists, and any contract decisions must not interfere with their independent clinical judgment.

The next type of lease in your quest for a dental space for lease is known as an “assignment of a lease."  A dentist practicing for years from premises may be planning to retire. While putting up the practice for sale, they may want to include the space, which is assigned to you as a purchasing dentist.

This type of lease is advantageous for dentists who are starting their practice for new because the lease may have been fixed several years ago with low rent. It is advisable to have the lease documents reviewed by a legal expert before signing the papers.

Lease Period

You need to ask yourself how long you need the premises while negotiating a dental space for lease. This information must be conveyed to your lender, who may insist on a minimum term of 10 years if you are considered for a startup loan. Long-term leases can be beneficial, considering inflation and an increase in commercial lease rent in busy areas.

Locking-in at current rental rates can turn beneficial in the long run. However, a five-year term, with a renewal clause included, may also be advantageous as it gives you the liberty to consider a change of place after five years.

Summing it Up

Finding commercial dental space on a lease may not be an easy task without the help of an experienced realtor. Going through realtors may increase the initial cost slightly; however, it is worth it as you can look at several options before deciding.

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