The importance of bespoke commercial leases in dentistry

Every dentist will strive to give treatment that is tailored to the specific needs of a patient. This approach is also of applicable when looking to lease a property for use as a dental practice. Taking into account the very specific service that dentists offer, it follows that their practice will also require specific terms and conditions in the lease to support that service. 

Standardised leases

The ability of a dental practice to function as smoothly as possible is of the upmost importance. Standardised commercial leases can often hinder dentists in their work, making them waste time and money unnecessarily. The pitfalls and problems are numerous with standard commercial leases, and it is best to avoid them at all costs.

There is a very real danger that the specific requirements of a dental practice can be overlooked and in some cases, actually forbidden under the terms of the lease! For example, the need for practices to store X-ray machines and various drugs is clear. However, it is possible for a standard lease to prohibit the storage of these items. If a dentist does not adhere to the conditions of the lease there is a possibility of the lease being terminated by the Landlord and the dentist being evicted from the property, which can lead to otherwise preventable high expense and hassle in order to resolve this situation.

In addition, dentists are often not required to register for VAT in respect of their supply of an exempt service. However a standard commercial lease can leave the landlord with the ability to charge VAT at any point should the Landlord so chose. If this were to happen, it would mean an unavoidable and immediate 20 per cent rise in the rent of the property.

The restrictions that standard commercial leases enforce can not only cripple the financial position and functionality of a practice, but can also prohibit anybody from sharing the property.

This is particularly unfavourable when considering commonplace associate agreements. A term that associate agreements usually state is that the associate is given a license to use the property for dental purposes. With a potential restriction on who can occupy the property, an associate agreement can unwittingly lead to a breach of lease, and once again termination of the lease can occur.

The fact is that many general practice solicitors who draw up standard leases do not take into account the particular requirements of a dental practice, as opposed to the requirements of their other commercial clients. Whilst these general practice solicitors may be knowledgeable about commercial leases in the broad sense, it would be extremely advantageous to any dentist considering taking a commercial lease to employ a solicitor who has experience specifically in the dental industry.

In simple terms, he disadvantages a standardised commercial lease presents to a dentist can be overwhelming.

The benefits of bespoke commercial leases

Instructing a specialist commercial lawyer with specialist dental knowledge will offer a solution. A bespoke lease will address the requirements a dentist has for his or her practice and amend the terms a standardised commercial lease overlooks or prohibits. This will provide a successful and hassle free lease, ultimately allowing for a dentist to focus on providing dental treatment, rather than worrying about legal matters.

Yet another major advantage of a bespoke lease is that it can be beneficial to both landlord and tenant. An example of this concerns the long-term future of a practice. From both a landlord and tenant’s perspective it could be valuable to come to an agreement regarding the renewal of the lease. Potential ambiguity around the subject can lead to an unsatisfactory end for both parties, especially if the landlord and tenant want to extend a lease that doesn’t allow for adjustment.

Using bespoke commercial leases can be a sensible way to avoid time and money being wasted, and the complications that come with that waste. From ensuring the storage of vital dental equipment is allowed to enabling associate agreements, and making sure there is no unexpected rise in rent, the benefits of a bespoke lease are clear.

 The key point to always bear in mind is not only the employment of a dental lawyer who understands the dental industry, but also the fact that where any legal matter is concerned it is important to not cut corners to save time. Bespoke commercial leases can be extremely beneficial in avoiding unnecessary complications and costs; their importance cannot be stressed enough.

Goodman Grant has a reputation of quality legal advice within dentistry. With this crucial and specialist knowledge, Goodman Grant’s team of solicitors are able to draw bespoke commercial leases to the specific advantage of dentists. Ensure you are not distracted from providing exceptional treatment by taking advantage of the huge benefits a bespoke commercial lease will provide. 

Nicola Lomas of Goodman Grant Lawyers for Dentists

For more information contact Nicola on 0151 7070090 or

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