Nobody wants mental health clinic next-door

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Q: We rent a really cool loft in a renovated downtown building, which has space for retail on the ground floor. We were hoping we'd see a restaurant, café or other retail establishment move in, but instead we've just learned that a mental health services organization will be our new neighbors. We know that the neighborhood is "edgy," and we accept the fact that there are a fair amount of homeless people in our midst. But enough is enough -- it just doesn't feel safe. Do you think we have grounds to break our lease? --Juan L. A: You're not the first to react in dismay when a health services facility or clinic appears in the building, though it's arguable whether your fears are well-grounded. Commercial tenants also typically don't welcome low-income health or law clinics, or a government agency (such as unemployment or probation offices) or other specified businesses as neighbors. Depending on the clout the tenants have, they insert clauses in their leases that ma...