dvm - January 2013 - (Page 52)
LETTER OF THE LAW | Christopher J. Allen, DVM, JD
NOSE OUT the NASTY
You could land yourself in a messy situation if you don’t check out all environmental factors on that perfect piece of real estate.
ecently my personal attorney neglected to consider my tax situation when scheduling a real estate sale at the end of last year. “Wouldn’t I be in a more favorable capital gains position if we scheduled the closing by December 31?” I asked. “Gee,” he responded. “I never think that much about taxes.” When I do a business deal, I never stop thinking about taxes. I told him to schedule it for December. Te problem is that the world has become too complex to expect a practicing professional to be comfortably familiar with all the elements aﬀecting his or her craft. Professionals and their clients need input from specialists in many areas. And nowhere is this truer
before purchasing property
than in the realm of real estate law. When a veterinarian decides to open or move a clinic or hospital, there are a multitude of considerations that need to be analyzed prior to execution of a long-term lease or building purchase. Te ones that come to mind ﬁrst (and that most consultants obsess about) are traﬃc ﬂow, demographics, visibility, parking and zoning. But there’s an additional legal area that needs careful consideration from a veterinarian and his or her counsel. In fact, the area of environmental law may be the most critical of all in the real estate acquisition decision. Poor advice or inadequate attention to the laws related to groundwater contamination, vapor migration and other factors could be economically devastating to a property buyer. Te purchasing doctor can be left holding the bag for a costly cleanup. His or her estate can be complicated by spills and leaks that occurred prior to ownership. Te new owner can even end up paying property taxes indeﬁnitely on land that can’t be built on or a building can’t be legally occupied.
Avoid tunnel vision
Love and emotion are not limited to residential purchases. Tey can take hold of commercial buyers as well. When the excitement of starting a practice or moving to a more visible location takes hold, a veterinarian can become overwhelmed with the positive attributes of a building and miss the most important characTHINKSTOCK
52 | January 2013 |
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of dvm - January 2013
dvm - January 2013
Where did I go wrong?
Pets and Vets
CATalyst survey examines how veterinarians really feel about animal shelters and pet rescue organizations.
What’s new? What’s now?
Employee steals more than $400,000 from clinic
Longtime veterinarian killed in plane crash in California
Canadian SPCA concerned by number of “home neutering” reports
Arrest made in Minnesota veterinary hospital arson
Washington DVM accused of abusing patients, medications
When faced with disaster, practices need a plan
University of Minnesota celebrates 750,000th urolith
Death to debt
Letter of the law
dvm - January 2013