Veterinary medicine is one of our region’s most important industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are nearly 8.000 actively licensed veterinarians in California. A successful veterinary practice needs the right office space. It is imperative that you reach a lease agreement that effectively protects your interests. In this article, our Bay Area business law attorney highlights some key office lease considerations for veterinarians.
Five Key Lease Considerations for Veterinary Practices in California
1. Total cost (base rent plus any percentage)
The rent for a veterinary lease is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Be sure to consider both the base rent and any additional percentage charges that may apply. Veterinary practices must thoroughly review the lease agreement and understand all costs associated with the property, including common area maintenance fees, property taxes, and any other expenses.
2. Viability and fit of the office space for your needs
When selecting a location for your veterinary practice, ensure that the office space is suitable for your specific needs. Assess the layout, size, and accessibility of the property to determine if it can accommodate your practice’s services, equipment, clientele, as well as any plans to house animals on-site. Consider any modifications or expansions that may be necessary and whether the space can accommodate them.
3. Property maintenance, repairs, and improvements
Before signing a lease, commercial tenants must clarify who will be responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements, including things like routine upkeep, addressing structural issues, and making necessary updates to accommodate your practice’s growth. It is a key consideration for veterinary practices in California.
4. The liability risks
As a veterinary practice owner, it is crucial to understand the liability risks associated with the property you are leasing. Review the lease agreement for any clauses that may expose you to potential legal issues or damages. Ensure that you have the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your practice from potential risks, such as accidents or property damage.
5. Renewal and/or termination options
When entering into a lease agreement, it’s essential to consider the long-term implications for your veterinary practice. Review the renewal and termination options outlined in the lease. Ensure that the lease terms allow for flexibility should you need to expand, relocate, or downsize your practice.
You Have the Right to Negotiate a Lease: Get it Reviewed by a Lawyer
You have the right to negotiate a lease for your veterinary practice. A well-negotiated lease can significantly impact your practice’s success and protect you from potential legal issues. Before signing any lease agreement, consult an experienced lawyer who specializes in veterinary law. They can review the terms of the lease, identify potential concerns, and suggest modifications that better suit your practice’s needs.
We Provide Business Law Services to Veterinary Practices in the Bay Area
Lynnette Ariathurai is a business law attorney with experience working with veterinary practices. If you have any questions about office lease considerations for veterinarians in California, we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online to set up your confidential initial appointment. From our Fremont law office, we serve veterinary practices throughout the Bay Area.