Medical Office Space

medical office spaceHealthcare is a huge industry today and every type of healthcare provider requires medical office space in which to perform their practice. Whether the medical office space provides clinical services, diagnostic services, laboratory services or another niche of healthcare services, the needs of these providers differ greatly from the traditional office rental lease template. Finding medical office space or office space that would be suitable to transition to medical office space can be a challenge and is best done by a professional real estate broker with experience in medical office space .

Get it Done Right! Use a Medical Office Tenant Representative.


Here are the top 11 most important issues and concerns to be aware of securing a medical office space lease that will help meet the unique needs of healthcare providers:

  1. Affordability: One of the top considerations in deciding where to lease or purchase medical office space is the cost of the space. The cost includes not only the rent or mortgage payment, but also improvement costs necessary to build it out. Those costs are generally much higher than those involved in building out conventional office space and most medical office space leases are longer, with more options to extend than  conventional office space.

  2. Convenience: All healthcare providers need to be in locations convenient to their patients. Competition can be fierce among healthcare providers and unless the office space is convenient, patients will simply go elsewhere. However, this is also true of traditional retail and office space. There is a larger concern with healthcare facilities; they need to have convenient access for handicapped visitors and those who are seriously ill. They need parking that is convenient to the entrance, wheelchair ramps available, and in some cases, it must be easy for patients on crutches to access.

  3. Parking: Medical office space parking requirements are more intense than those of conventional office space. A good rule of thumb is to allow for five parking spaces per thousand square feet of medical office space.

  4. Biohazards: No matter what type of healthcare practitioner is requesting your assistance in securing office space, there will be concerns about biohazards. There will likely be human biohazardous wastes collected and disposed of by the office space. Diagnostic equipment such as CT scanners or X-ray machines pose other hazards. Some landlords may be hesitant to consider the modifications required for such equipment. Special shielding, unique to the medical field, may have to be installed. In most cases, these situations will violate the standard lease language and need to be modified.

  5. Tenant Improvement: Medical facilities have especially unique requirements when it comes to building out the inside of the office space. Traditionally, owners prefer to have any tenant finish performed by their own contractors, usually those that have performed similar remodeling for them in the past. Healthcare providers often require specialists to properly and safely remodel the office space. Often, the landlord will need to understand that the tenant improvement will have to be done by contractors with whom they are not familiar. The property owner should retain the right to inspect work in progress and verify that mechanics liens are not attached on the property.

  6. ADA: Medical facilities often require access for patients with special needs such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and canes. They are, therefore, more likely than average to be scrutinized for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. While the use may drive the need for additional ADA compliance, they will also want to avoid lease terms that cause them to pay the costs incurred for ensuring the building meets the strict compliance required. In most cases, the tenant will want to negotiate lease language that places this burden on the landlord.

  7. Use: The use of traditional office space is outlined in the lease and is quite limited when viewed in terms of medical office space use. Wording which bars hazardous materials and biomedical wastes must be changed to prevent lease violations. The traditional boilerplate lease simply won’t work when dealing with the special needs of healthcare providers.

  8. After Hours Access: Many healthcare facilities may need to see patients after hours on an emergency basis or may choose to provide extended service hours. Today, many urgent care clinics are choosing 24-hour operations to provide less costly healthcare than provided by hospital emergency rooms. Not all lease language permits extended hours of operation. Also, some office space leases include some or all of the utilities used by the tenant during normal business hours. If operating beyond the traditional 8 am to 5 pm service window, the lease language will need to include an agreement about exactly which party pays what portion of the utilities so that special requirements are taken into account.

  9. Landlord Access: In most office space leases, the landlord retains the right to enter the premises at any time whatsoever in order to inspect their property or show that property to realtors or other parties at the landlord’s discretion. Medical practices of all types all under special privacy acts which require that patient identify be protected at all costs. This means that the landlord or owner simply can’t be allowed completely, open access during the hours of operation. Of course, the landlord can expect reasonable cooperation through appointments or specific hours of access, but simply opening the door to each room in the facility at any time would be a clear violation of patient privacy. This requires extremely sensitive and clear lease language in order to ensure the interests of both the landlord or owner and the medical tenant are sufficiently considered and provided for in the lease agreement.

  10. Exclusive Use Provision: When leasing office space in a suburban area, it is important that a competing healthcare facility providing the exact same services not be allowed to move into the same building or strip of property as your practice. Ask for a provision in the lease language which prevents the landlord leasing another space in the same building to a healthcare provider operating a competitive practice. This may require some very creative lease language because you might well want another healthcare provider that offers complimentary services to reside near your practice but you want to avoid direct competition.

  11. Obtain a Qualified Broker: When beginning your search for medical or health services office space, locate a licensed lease broker with medical office and facilities experience. These brokers understand the nuances unique to medical office space leasing or purchase and the negotiations required between landlord/owner and medical tenant such as tenant finish, ADA compliance, and can negotiate the best possible lease agreement for your practice. Find a Qualified Broker

These are only a few of the areas of leasing medical office space that should be addressed by healthcare providers. Carefully read all lease language to ensure a healthcare provider can operate their practice within the language which is negotiated with the landlord.

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