Lease CAM Charges Explained
Space for lease is priced per square foot and calculated as an annual expense, so you need to know the square foot of space involved. For example, the typical office is 10 feet by 12 feet. If you are leasing three offices, that amounts to 120 square feet per office, totaling 360 square feet; but you also include hallways, elevator landings, and restrooms which are called common area square footage. Typically you do not include stairs and elevators, which are called vertical penetrations in your common area square footage.
The added charge for common space is called CAM, or common area maintenance. For example, if office rents average $16 per square foot, and you rent 1,000 square feet, the total annual base rent is $16,000, or $1,333 per month. CAM charges could easily be $5 extra per square foot, or $5,000 more annually. In addition, you are charged on rentable square footage, not usable square footage, which means you pay a pro-rate share of all common area including lobby, hallways, restrooms and more. For more information on office leasing including CAM charges, read our article Office Market Trends.