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Mistakes to avoid when leasing medical office space

As a medical practitioner, it gets very laborious looking for the perfect real estate space for your practice. It is time-consuming, expensive and a number of decisions need to right to fit the bill. Physicians and other health care professionals usually need professional help when it comes to choosing the right real estate and the consequent space planning decisions.

There are several online listings for medical practice teams that will help you choose a medical office space for rent. Renting the perfect medical office space is crucial for your success in the medical profession. It is how you have always envisioned setting up your practice. But choosing a real estate for a practicing physician is different from choosing a space for home or other office work.

The location of the space, the type of the building and amenities that are included are some of the most decisive aspects when it comes to leasing medical office space. It also includes the amount you will be paying as rent. Any cut-throat pricing and you will jeopardize the success rate of your practice. Thus, it is imperative that you research thoroughly before investing in a medical office space for rent.

Let’s dive right in!

Estimates for the average rate in the area

The usual practice for the rate of medical office space is in rent per square foot per month or on a yearly basis. The rates are subject to the locality and the state of residence. So you need to have a clear idea as to what the average rates are in your area of choice for renting a medical office space. Without having thorough background knowledge, you cannot be sure of the overcharges if levied. You need to shop around a bit and enlist the help of local dealers to aid you in the search process.

Rentable and Usable space

This is something most medical professionals will miss out on. The rentable and the usable space of the place you are renting for setting up your practice might be different. The rentable area is the actual dimensions of the space in square feet on which the charges will be levied. In reality, the allowed space for usage might be lesser than the rented area. Don’t worry! You are not being cheated. The difference makes up for what is called the “building load factor” which includes the common area spaces like the lobby, stairwell, elevator if any and electrical and storage rooms. Usually, the building load factor is around 5%. But if it is greater than that, you might have to do without a few equipments, but it might mean more common area amenities.

Additional fees

You also need to account for extra fees in the form of “triple net” or NNN leases. This means that along with the rent you will also pay for pro-rata share of property tax, insurance, maintenance, management and electricity bills. Janitorial services for medical office space are also specialized, and you need to pay extra for it. You might have a “modified gross lease” or a “full service gross.” In case of the former, you need to ask for written confirmation about the rent and the extra service charges separately. However, in case of a full-service gross, every charge will be included in the rent for space.

Improvement allowance

You might need to improve on the facilities since your space should be freely accessible as a medical office space. It is always a great idea to communicate openly about improvement allowances. Some properties have protocols for improvement allowances based on the age, strength, and novelty of the existing structures. You can be held accountable for any loss or damage to property. So be wary before going for any improvement suiting your requirements. Research, inquire and communicate with your landlord before stepping up to the plate. Keep in mind the allowance also depends on the length of your lease, rental amount, your credit and personal guarantees.

Accessibility

Since you are a doctor, you need your space to be accessible to patients and people with mobility issues. Your primary goal is to care for your patients. Selecting an office for medical space must include basic amenities like an elevator in case it’s a high rise, easy to navigate hallways and corridors. It should also have a generally quiet environment where patients can be at peace.

Waste removal

As a practicing physician, you might need to deal with biohazard waste. When renting for medical office space, you also need to inform the landlord about the services you offer and what are your requirements and disposal methods for biohazard waste and potentially infective agents. If your landlord is experienced and well equipped at handling biohazard wastes and there are trusted disposal methods that are already active, you have just won yourself a big bonus! If not, it’s your duty to maintain the sanctity of your office space and building.

Basic amenities

Certain basic amenities are absolutely imperative with respect to their requirement in a medical office space. Parking facilities are a must! There must be ample room to move and maneuver in case of an emergency. There should be standard hours for heating and cooling along with state of the art temperature control system. Fire alarms, fire escape and water access, are also certain features you have to check for. Security of the building is also important. You should check into the credentials of the security firm engaged in the protection of the building, properties and its tenants. Additionally, you might need to work beyond the office hours at a certain rate or the “after hours utility charge.” It is important you learn about all the rates along with the rent and ask for a written document so that you are well informed.

However, it is quite a common practice to share a medical space often between two or more professional since most of the office spaces are often bigger than what you would need as a practicing physician. You have the option of sharing as well once you intimate your landlord about the arrangement. The system is based on mutual agreement of all the parties involved, so it is advised that you be wary about personal friction.

Keeping all the basics in mind is your key to avoiding mistakes while choosing your perfect medical office space.

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