Negotiating a Lease for an Orthopedic Surgeon: A Strategic Approach

Securing a favorable lease agreement is a critical step in establishing a successful orthopedic practice. As a surgeon, your focus is primarily on patient care, but understanding the nuances of lease negotiations can significantly impact your practice’s financial health and operational efficiency. This article provides a strategic approach to negotiating a lease tailored for orthopedic surgeons.

  1. Location, Location, Location:

The first and foremost consideration is the location of the office space. Accessibility for patients, proximity to hospitals and referral sources, visibility, and parking availability are crucial factors that should align with your target demographic and practice goals.

  1. Space Requirements:

Evaluate your current and future space needs carefully. Consider the number of exam rooms, procedure rooms, office spaces, waiting areas, and storage you’ll require. Ensure the space is adaptable to accommodate potential growth and changes in your practice.

  1. Lease Terms:

Lease terms are the backbone of the agreement and should be thoroughly reviewed. Pay close attention to the length of the lease, rent escalation clauses, renewal options, and termination conditions. Aim for flexibility that aligns with your practice’s growth trajectory.

  1. Financial Considerations:

Negotiate the base rent, operating expenses, and any additional fees, such as common area maintenance (CAM) charges. Consider seeking a rent abatement period or tenant improvement allowance to offset initial setup costs. Explore options for percentage rent, where a portion of your rent is based on your practice’s revenue.

  1. Tenant Improvements (TIs):

If the space requires modifications to suit your practice’s needs, negotiate for tenant improvements. Clearly outline the scope of work, budget, and timeline for completion in the lease agreement.

  1. Exclusivity Clause:

To protect your practice from direct competition, consider including an exclusivity clause in the lease. This clause prevents the landlord from leasing space to another orthopedic practice within a certain radius.

  1. Signage and Visibility:

Ensure the lease addresses signage rights and visibility. Negotiate for prominent signage both inside and outside the building to attract patients and increase brand awareness.

  1. Parking:

Adequate parking is essential for patient convenience. Negotiate for a sufficient number of reserved parking spaces for your staff and patients, especially if the building has limited parking.

  1. Subleasing and Assignment:

Incorporate clauses that allow for subleasing or assignment of the lease if your practice needs to relocate or expand in the future.

  1. Professional Guidance:

Engage a commercial real estate attorney with experience in healthcare leases to review and negotiate the terms on your behalf. Their expertise can safeguard your interests and ensure a fair and favorable agreement.

By following these strategic steps and seeking professional guidance, orthopedic surgeons can confidently negotiate lease agreements that optimize their practice’s location, functionality, and financial viability. A well-negotiated lease lays the foundation for a thriving and successful orthopedic practice for years to come.