Dentists, like other highly educated, intelligent professionals, often believe they can negotiate important legal documents, such as office leases, without any assistance from an attorney. The reasoning, I think, is that legal documents are written in English, so any smart, well-educated person who reads that document carefully can understand it. Unfortunately, there are many traps for the unwary in this approach. The purpose of this article is not to tell you this, in general terms (since I am sure you have heard it, many times, before), but, instead, to give you a few, real-life examples, to show you just how risky, and costly, this approach can be.
Many tenants think that the rent they pay each year is calculated based on the area of the actual, physical space that they lease. After all, that seems like the most logical approach. Take the rent per square foot, multiply it by the area leased, and that should be the total rent paid for the year. Right? Not quite.
In fact, most office tenants pay rent for an area that is significantly larger than the actual space that they lease. This larger area on which rent is paid (called the “Rentable Area” of the premises) includes, not just the actual space that is leased (the “Useable Area”) but also a share of the common areas of the building.