Questions to Ask Before Leasing: 4/10

Over the next few weeks, we will be adding to our series of helpful tips for businesses starting to look into leasing. This post is the fourth of 10 on the essential questions you should ask before signing an office lease.



This Week’s Question:

What is the difference between rentable and usable space?

When you lease a space, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of information presented to you. One of the most essential aspects of a lease is the space. However, there is a large difference between the rentable space and usable space.

Every building includes space that is not rentable and includes common area space such as the lobby or entryway, hallways, stairwells, elevators, phone rooms, electric rooms and storage spaces.

cantera lobby shot 003 copy


It is important to find out what percentage of the building is dedicated for all common areas and if you are paying for usable or rentable square feet under the terms of your lease. If you are paying for rentable space, it’s crucial you make sure that the landlord is paying for all of the utilities in the common areas, especially if you are paying a proportionate share of the electricity for the building based upon your square footage.

The common area factor is calculated as a percentage of the building and is added to the total usable square footage leased. Simply put areas that are shared among your fellow tenants are added to the usable square footage.


Stay tuned for next week’s feature on the effects of property management location!