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Office Space Terminology

If your company is looking for new office space, you're likely to come across these office space terms which you now need to be familiar with. This will help you to communicate better with your Tenant Rep Broker and have a good understanding of the terms likely to come up in your office lease negotiations.

Listed below are 10 of the most common office space terms and their meaning:

Common Area
The common area includes the area(s) that are shared throughout the building, such as lobbies, restrooms, elevators and hallways

Common Area Maintenance (CAM)
Costs required for a tenant's pro rata share of the upkeep of common areas and amenities such as the parking lot, external lighting, trash removal, and street cleaning. When obtaining quotes for office space, you should always ask about tenant CAM expenses, because a lower per-square-foot rental rate at one location may be offset by high CAM expenses.

Commencement Date
The date by which the lease is signed and go into effect.

Occupancy Date
The date on which the tenant can take possession and move into the lease.

Net Lease
A lease in which the tenant pays, in addition to Base Rent, certain costs associated with a leased property, including property taxes, insurance premiums, repairs, utilities and maintenance.

Gross Lease
A lease which provides that the landlord pay all expenses of the leased property including taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

Renewal Option
A renewal option is the option to extend the life of a lease at a market rate that is either defined in the original lease or the current market rate at the time of the renewal.

Letter of Intent
A formal method through which a prospective tenant expresses their interest in a property.

Rentable Square Feet
Useable square feet plus a percentage (the Core Factor) of the common areas on the floor, including hallways, bathrooms and telecommunications closets, and elevator lobby. Rentable square footage is the number of square feet on which a tenant's rent is based.

Tenant Improvement Credit
Tenant Improvements, commonly referred to as 'TIs', are allowances that a tenant can spend on improvements. For example, a landlord will grant tenant improvements up to $10,000 to modify an existing office space.

Looking for office space? Make sure you use the Office Space Checklist when touring potential offices to make sure you make the right choices.


Planning an office move? Go the office relocation planning resource center

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