When you lease a commercial property at a facility with shared spaces, you will have more than just your monthly rent payment to consider. Your landlord will likely also assess a common area maintenance (CAM) fee if they provide certain services and you share common spaces with other tenants.
CAM fees help cover the maintenance costs for shared spaces like bathrooms, entrance ways and parking lots. They also help provide services, like trash removal, for the entire facility. Every tenant will have to pay a portion of those costs in the form of CAM fees. There are two things most commercial tenants should know about these common charges before signing a lease.
CAM fees are often negotiable
Prospective landlords will likely quote a specific cost for CAM fees when negotiating your lease. If you will have fewer visitors to the property or fewer employees than other tenants, you could potentially negotiate to reduce those costs.
Especially if there are numerous vacant units or you agree to a long-term lease, the landlord may agree to reduce what they charge you for CAM fees. Rather than viewing the fees as firm, they are just one more factor that you can attempt to alter for your benefit before signing the lease.
CAM fees often change
Although your landlord may assess a specific monthly amount, they may also occasionally need to request extra payment, such as when there is a major upgrade or project required. Typically, landlords should provide notice when there will be additional shared costs or when they intend to increase the fees at the time that you renew your lease.
Learning more about the terms commonly included in commercial leases can help you negotiate more favorable rental arrangements.