June 28, 2011
I'm executing a lease for my practice. Can you please highlight the issues particular to my practice that I should be aware of?
Well, thats a pretty broad question. To highlight some basics I should start by saying that most leases are based off of standard commercial lease forms; many of which are not tempered to mold with the requirements of a medical practice. Examples of provisions that may apply to your practice but not other commercial space are the standard hazardous waste provisions, which prohibit many standard substances found in practices from being on the premises. Another example is signage, which is required by the New York State Education Department and is often prohibited by Landlords. Other common complaints I hear are when a client requests Saturday hours for patients and the building does not provide heat or AC as all other commercial spaces in the building are closed. A final issue I've seen in practitioner leases is where space is taken without inquiring whether the building is even zoned for a medical space and allows the requisite sinks, ventilation etc. Where you are operating in a space not zoned or without appropriate permits where required, you are in violation of the law and also of your lease's regulatory compliance provision - which also renders you in breach of contract.
Of course the above does not constitute anywhere near an exhaustive list of issues that may arise particular to your medical practice. You really need a full review to prevent against liability and potential exposure. Further, you need to work with a firm like ours that has an understanding of real estate and healthcare, and is in a position to ensure that issues specific to your medical practice will be protected in your real estate transaction. For additional information, feel free to contact me at (516) 747-6700 x. 302 or at Jennifer@Kirschenbaumesq.com.
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