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What is CAM? (Common Area Expenses)

CAM stands for "Common Area Maintenance." In the context of real estate and property management, CAM refers to the fees or expenses associated with the maintenance and operation of common areas in a multi-tenant commercial property, such as a shopping mall, office building, or industrial park. These common areas are spaces or facilities that are shared by all tenants and are typically outside their individual leased spaces.

Common examples of common areas in commercial properties include:

1. Parking Lots: Maintenance, lighting, and security for the parking areas used by all tenants and their customers.

2. Lobbies and Hallways: Cleaning, maintenance, and security for common entryways, corridors, and other shared spaces.

3. Landscaping: Maintenance of green spaces, lawns, trees, and shrubs on the property.

4. Exterior Building Facades: Cleaning and maintenance of the building's exterior, including signage and awnings.

5. Roof: Repairs and maintenance of the roof, especially in buildings with flat roofs.

6. Security: Security personnel, surveillance cameras, and systems that benefit all tenants.

7. Trash Removal: Collection and disposal of trash from common areas.

8. HVAC Systems: Maintenance and repairs for shared heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

CAM charges are typically divided among all tenants in a commercial property based on the proportionate share of space they lease. These charges are part of the overall operating expenses for a commercial property and are usually outlined in the lease agreements between the landlord and tenants.

CAM charges can be calculated in various ways, but a common method is to use the tenant's pro-rata share, which is determined by dividing the tenant's leased square footage by the total leasable square footage of the property. This pro-rata share is then multiplied by the total CAM expenses for the property to calculate the tenant's annual CAM charges.

Tenants should carefully review their lease agreements to understand how CAM charges are calculated, what expenses are included, and how they are billed. CAM charges can vary significantly depending on the property and the services provided, so it's important for tenants to budget for these expenses as part of their occupancy costs.

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