Cam Charges

When tenants are negotiating a lease for a commercial property they commonly look at the rent as the main financial term. While that is critical, there is another critical element, and that is the Common Area Maintenance or CAM charges.

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Those are the charges for the common area of the building. The definition of the common area is critical and should be closely examined. Some landlords include the roof, or the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system as part of the CAM charges. Tenants think of sidewalks, parking lots and landscaping as common area. While those are all generally included, the above examples are not unusual.

Another element is a management fee. I have seen the fee as a percentage of the rent or other times totally undefined and annually a very big number. I recently saw a 15% depreciation fee included.

The point of all this is that CAM charges are in addition to the rent. Landlords are wise enough to know that tenants focus on rent. CAM charges can add major amounts to the monthly bill, so examine them closely.