Free Advice Can Cost You a Fortune

My client was starting a medical practice. We leased a space that had to be remodeled. The landlord was notorious for not completing construction on time. In the Letter of Intent I requested that the rent would not start until the construction was completed.

My client insisted that his cousin, a business attorney, review the lease. I asked if he had any experience with leases. My client replied, “Only in law school, but he is not charging me and my family insists.” There was nothing for me to do but acquiesce.

Since I had written the Letter of Intent upon which it was based, he wanted to save money by not having to pay me to read the lengthy lease. My client would only allow his cousin to review the lease.

The landlord did not include that protective clause. The cousin missed the exclusion. The contractor ran way behind schedule because the landlord did not remove the debris in the suite in the time frame promised.

My client had to pay rent for three months on an unfinished, unusable office suite. All this money came from the loan because he could not see patients. It greatly increased his debt.

The cousin may have been a good attorney in his field, but not in this area. His free services proved to be very costly.

Lesson: You must have experienced advisors act as your agents. You are counting on their expertise to keep you out of trouble.