Practice Management

Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES: Commercial Leasing Tips for Veterinarian Tenants VII

By: Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach

For many veterinarian tenants, negotiating a good lease or lease renewal against an experienced agent or landlord can be a challenge. While a veterinarian focuses on his/her animal patient’s care, savvy real estate agents and brokers are specialized sales people. Their job is to sell tenants on leasing their location at the highest possible rental rate.

As explained in our new book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES, tenants may go through the leasing process only two or three times in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living. Negotiating appropriate leasing terms is vital for a veterinarian tenant as the amount of rent he pays will directly affect the doctor’s financial bottom line.

Whether you are leasing a new location for the first time or negotiating a lease renewal for your clinic, here are some money-saving tips for veterinarian tenants:

Negotiating for Cash and Loans: Some landlords will actually pay cash incentives to tenants who lease space in their building. Other tenants can often get quasi landlord loans. This money is normally blended into the rent so it’s not necessarily free (the landlord expects a certain net effective return), but it can make your start-up easier. If you wish to receive a cash loan or incentive, demonstrate why you need the money or explain what you will spend it on (e.g. paint, carpet, etc.).

 Trade Free Rent for Cash: If you have successfully negotiated for a free rent period, then it may be possible to convert that value into cash and use it for additional leasehold improvements or stock purchases. For example, if you have four months free rent spread out through the term with each month valued at $4,000, you could now trade your free rent for cash. Justify your expenditures and be prepared to discount the value from $16,000 to $14,000 – if needed – to get the money.

 For a copy of our free CD, Leasing Dos & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please e-mail request to


Jeff Grandfield and Dale Willerton – The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Jeff and Dale are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, e-mail  or or visit


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