Understanding the Termination Upon Death or Disability Clause in Your Lease

So what exactly does a death and disability clause do? It protects you, your family and/or your estate from liability under your lease in the event of your death or disability. It allows you or the entity through which you lease space (the “tenant”) to be relieved of all obligations under the lease. Without including such language, the tenant will remain obligated to perform all the terms under the lease, including, for example, paying monthly rent and common area maintenance expenses.

Remaining obligated under the lease can cause undue hardship. For example, if you are your medical practice’s sole provider and you become disabled or your practice loses a critical employee due to death, your practice won’t make money, as the practice can’t see and treat patients.

Of course, landlords aren’t the biggest fans of death and disability clauses because such clauses don’t benefit them. Even in the case where a landlord allows for a death and disability clause, it likely will come with conditions. For example, a landlord may require you or your estate to pay for costs associated with reletting the leased space and pay rent until a new tenant leases the space. Or, if the landlord funds your tenant improvements and they are of a significant amount, the landlord may require a hefty termination fee upon your death or disability to recoup those improvements costs.

If your landlord refuses to allow for a death and disability clause, it’s important to have a plan that comes into play upon your death or disability. That may be by having an arrangement in place where you or your estate sells your practice and the lease transfers to the buyer. In such a case, it’s important to have language in the lease that expressly allows for such a transfer.

Article by: Amanda Howard

Dental Lease “Use” Clauses Can Grow or Cripple a Practice

A “use” clause is a term in a dental lease agreement that defines how a provider can use the leased space. In other words, a use clause defines the activities one can undertake and what services one can provide in a leased space. A use clause will typically also define the landlord’s control over the use of the leased space and the consequences for failing to abide by the use clause. A use clause typically works together with an “exclusivity” clause.

Despite its importance, use language is often overlooked by tenants because tenants don’t think it has as great an impact as it does, or tenants don’t seek legal advice and come to understand its significance. As a tenant, it is critical to review use language. A broadly defined use clause can facilitate the growth of a dental practice. Whereas a narrowly defined use clause can cripple it.

Consider: You are a general dentist who has offered general dentistry services for many years. You see an opportunity to grow and expand your business by adding and providing new services. You’ve decided that you want to bring an orthodontist and cosmetic dentist into your practice so that your business can be a one-stop shop.

Which use clause will allow you to grow your business? Which use clause will stop you from expanding?

  •  “for oral health and any and all other related activities”


  •  “for general dentistry only”

If your lease contains the second clause, your opportunity for expansion is severely limited. And, if you choose to expand your services anyway, your landlord could terminate your lease and seek damages for breach of contract, depending on the lease terms.

The moral of the story is: Don’t underestimate the importance of the use clause in your dental lease!

What Can I Negotiate In A Commercial Lease Agreement?

commercial medical lease propertyBy: Chase Howard

Commercial leases are arguably the most one-sided contracts you could enter into while doing business. Most, if not all, commercial property owners and landlords will shift all of the liability of the premises onto the tenant. This includes maintenance, repair and replacement of structural components, roofs, wiring, plumbing, and even store fronts and sidewalks.

While a majority of the terms in a lease are “non-negotiable” there are a number that landlords can reasonably agree to change.Continue reading

Lease Considerations – Acupuncture Practices

real estate lease for medical building

real estate lease for medical buildingBy: Chase Howard

Reviewing a lease prior signing will save you extreme headache and cost in the long run. Landlords tend to act as if they have all of the power in negotiations and will make their own rules along the way. Lease negotiations are complex and involve significant business and legal considerations.

Here are guidelines to ensuring that your lease is reasonable and fair:

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Are You Paying TOO LITTLE in Rent?

medical office space rent cost

medical office space rent costBy: Douglas Hughes, (Guest Blogger from CARR)

Conventional wisdom tells us that spending less money is the most effective approach to saving money. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned and the more you save, the more you have left over. That logic is hard to argue with, but it is not always fool proof. Saving money for your practice the wrong way can lead to diminished patient care, outdated equipment, the wrong location for your practice and additional negative results.

There are several critical factors often overlooked when a healthcare practice’s primary focus is paying the lowest rent vs. achieving the best combination of overall terms. Let’s look at three factors where paying higher rent could actually increase your profitability.

#1: The Cost to Build

Healthcare buildouts often cost two-to-three times more than a typical commercial real estate space. This is attributed to many factors that are unique to healthcare, including:

  • More durable finishes
  • Millwork and cabinetry
  • Plumbing and sinks in exam rooms, sterilization centers and laboratories
  • Increased electrical and HVAC requirements (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
  • And several more

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Medical Office Space Trends for 2020

medical office space trends

medical office space trendsBy: Amanda Bhikhari

As Commercial Real Estate continues to grow, the medical office space is evolving to cater to new trends which affect the practice of medicine as well as the real estate industry as a whole. The healthcare sector is beginning to lean toward efficient spaces, and creating greater availability in spaces.

Energy Efficiency

With equipment, staff and use of extremely sophisticated technology, medical buildings utilize huge amounts of energy.  With the expansiveness of the size of most properties, intense lighting needs, air and temperature control, and high-powered machinery it has been difficult to operate in a low efficiency environment.Continue reading

Providing Medical Services in a Real Estate Wellness Utopia: Part I

real estate wellness

real estate wellnessBy: Amanda Bhikhari

In 2018, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) released its report “Build Well to Live Well” on the global and regional wellness lifestyle real estate and communities market. The report highlighted various emerging real estate wellness living concepts that will drive future development, and create a surge in the $134 Billion dollar industry, expected through 2022, to reach $180 billion.

The lines between home, work and leisure are less defined. Your neighbor can be your patient, your coach or your nutritionist. The millennial generation and others are focused on living where their needs for healthy and long life are considered. Many people are willing to pay out of pocket for services that contribute to their health and wellness. Medical industry groups and health services will have to catalyze in order to build these wellness communities. These communities will be created by combining medical industry companies and research organizations, high quality hospitals and health services for consumers, and holistically designed wellness focused homes and neighborhoods.Continue reading

Medical Real Estate Opportunities Abound in Florida

medical real estate

medical real estateBy: Amanda Bhikhari

Florida has experienced a huge influx of new residents in the past few years. Throughout the state you’ll find snowbirds moving for a better climate, professionals moving for new opportunities, lifestyle change and better tax incentives as the market grows, and families leaving big city life to establish roots in more suburban areas in Florida. In addition, in areas like Central Florida, big investors have established offices and purchased high dollar medical real property due to strong demographics, readily available open space, and  the continued appeal of healthcare professionals looking to grow and open new offices. On a national scale, according to data released by Revista and Healthcare Real Estate Insights (HREI), outpatient medical real estate development projects totaling nearly $7.7 billion in construction value and 19.4 million square feet were completed in 2016.Continue reading