You’ve just located a building that fits your needs and is in the perfect location for your new veterinary practice. Looking through the materials you see that the space is not for sale, but rather it is available for lease. Don’t worry! This might be the perfect way for your new practice to begin.
The top reasons to decide whether to lease or buy office space have changed. For a long time, buying usually triumphed because real estate was looked at in ways that included the importance of ownership and to the amount of money saved over the length of time that it would be owned.
However, young and growing practices may feel that the decision to lease is more practical when they consider that the initial cash outlay associated with a lease might work better for their budget. Costs associated with the start-up of a new practice can be high. Office equipment, computers, medical equipment, and items for basic operation can quickly deplete even the most closely planned and monitored budget. The financial needs of the practice may determine that leasing the office space provides a definite cash flow benefit.
Advantages of Leasing Office Space
The following points highlight the basic benefits of leasing.
- For new practices, a strong credit rating is not as critical for leasing office space as it is for buying real estate
- Cash flow is not tied up in buying real estate
- Lease may be developed for multiple years
- Monthly lease payment is a business expense and may be tax deductible
- Building and property maintenance is often the responsibility of the landlord, for example:
- Roof repairs
- Maintenance of heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems
- Ground and landscape needs
- Mowing, bush trimming, mulching, clearing leaves
- Tree removal
- Snow shoveling of walkways and parking lots
- No worries about selling property before being able to move to another location
- Depending on the way the lease is written, sublet possibility provides the means for the practice to move if another location is found that better suits its needs
- Leasing may be the only option available in the location desired by the practice.
Help in Making the Right Decision – Veterinary Office Leasing Services
Once the decision is made to lease an office space and the desired space is located, one of the next steps to focus on are lease negotiations. A lease is a legally binding document that commits the capital from the practice over a specified period of time. It is important to completely understand what is stated within the lease, as chances are good that it will influence the next several years of the veterinary practice.
For example, what happens if:
- The owner requires a personal guarantee, but the practice owner doesn’t want one
- The practice decides it needs more space
- The practice needs to terminate the lease early
- The practice wants to extend the lease, but the owner does not
- The owner decides they want to sell the building.
Understanding the terminology that is written into a lease is key to understanding the terms. Companies are available to offer their expertise to veterinarians who are planning to negotiate an office lease. Before the lease is signed, they will research and provide a detailed office lease review that explicitly identifies the responsibilities of the tenant and landlord as dictated within the lease. Working with an office leasing service will detect any lease problem areas and provide the means to protect the practice during lease negotiation.
Looking for more practice management tips? Covetrus North America can help! Contact your Covetrus North America representative today at 855.724.3461.