How to Figure the CAM on Commercial Properties

When you lease a property in a commercial building an additional expense is the common maintenance area (CAM).

Looking for space to lease for your business involves understanding the terms associated with your contract. The rent may be more than the cost per square foot. Other charges can apply to the building where you want to set up shop, so it's important to educate yourself on what to expect in your lease agreement. One additional expense is the common area maintenance (CAM). This is a shared cost by all of the tenants of the actual maintenance expenses in the building for items such as snow removal, landscaping, sidewalks and outdoor lighting.

Step 1

Ask the leasing agent for the gross leasable area (GLA) of the building. This represents the total amount of square footage that can be rented out to tenants.

Step 2

Find the amount of square feet of the space that you want to rent. Look on the marketing or real estate flyer, or ask the leasing agent for this information.

Step 3

Divide the square footage of your desired space by the GLA. This will give you the percentage that will be your portion of the total common area maintenance fees. For example, if your space is 1,000 square feet and the GLA is 10,000 square feet, then your share of expenses is 10 percent (1,000/10,000=0.1 or 10 percent).

Tip

Pay your CAM portion every month with your rent. The landlord will reassess the charges annually and either credit the tenants the amount overpaid or charge them the excess.

Things You'll Need

  • Gross leasable area (GLA)

  • Tenant's square footage

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