Summary of CAM Fees
- CAM is an acronym for "Common Area Maintenance."
- CAM expenses are allocated to tenants on a pro rata basis: the more square footage a tenant rents, the greater percentage of CAM expenses it must pay.
- CAM fees are paid by the tenant (lessee) to the owner (lessor) to help cover the cost of overhead and operating expenses and landlords may try to include a wide variety of their expenses as CAM fees.
- Common areas generally include space accessed, used, benefited by, or shared by all tenants, and almost always include hallways, elevators and stairwells, lobbies, and public restrooms.
- CAM fees can also be charged for external spaces, like sidewalks and parking lots, and, in some cases, even for off-site facilities.
- Administrative fees may be charged, based on a percentage of the CAM fee rate, for operating and maintenance costs associated with non-common areas or salaries - things that are not truly common expenses and expenses most tenants will object to contributing to.
- Not all landlords charge CAM fees, but most still do, especially in commercial industrial space and retail leases.
- No matter what a landlord calls fees, if you are paying for maintenance, taxes, and insurance, your lease is a Triple Net Lease - the least favorable of all leases for tenants.