Picture this – after a few years in your new veterinary clinic/hospital location, you have developed a solid culture with staff and patients that you truly enjoy. Your loans are slowly but surely being repaid and you are building up an enviable client roster in the process. Your home and your children’s school are all within a three-mile radius of your clinic. Life is good, and improving. Then, out of the blue, you receive a notice that your lease is being terminated due to a redevelopment of the property. Can the landlord do this? What happens now?
What is a “redevelopment” or “demolition” clause?
The “redevelopment” or “demolition” clause is an increasingly common feature of veterinary office lease agreements, particularly in high-density, metropolitan real estate markets. This clause gives your landlord the right to terminate your lease if they decide to demolish, renovate, or redevelop the building or center you are practicing in. Often the definitions of “redevelop”, “demolish”, or “renovate” in the lease are highly ambiguous.
The particulars of this redevelopment or demolition – the who, what, when, why and where – will invariably differ from lease to lease and from landlord to landlord.
For example, a given veterinary office lease might allow the landlord to terminate your tenancy if they decide to build a condominium building on the land. Another lease might permit the landlord to permanently relocate you to another part of the property, or to another property altogether, if renovations are to be carried out.
The struggle is particularly relevant to veterinarians, who invest heavily in leasehold improvements and can’t simply pick up and relocate without considerable expense. Sound familiar? That’s because the average veterinarian spends hundreds of thousands of dollars constructing an animal hospital/clinic. […]