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What are “CAM” Charges?

What are “CAM” Charges?

It’s a good idea to get a grasp of the different charges associated with leasing commercial space. One such fee, which can be added on top of your lease, is what is known as CAM charges. CAM charges, otherwise known as Common Area Maintenance charges, is something that you should fully understand before you ever sign a lease.

A CAM charge is an additional payment that you would make to your lessor to maintain parts of the building that are shared with other businesses. This can include (but is by no means limited to) property taxes, building insurance, utilities sidewalks, hallways, landscaping, lobbies, public restrooms and the list goes on.

Before you sign a lease, make sure you have a good understanding of what it says, and what the CAM charges are, if any. You’ll also want to know what you’re paying for, so seeing a list of the common areas may be helpful as well. This can especially come in handy when maintenance becomes an issue, and the building needs professional repair. For example, if the roof needs to be replaced, who pays for that? Is it the owner, or is it a common area charge?

To get a better grasp on what your lease says, it may be a good idea to have an attorney look it over for you, and let you know exactly what you’re expected to pay. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll be better off in the long run. The attorney will also be able to tell you what type of CAM you have.

There are two basic types of CAM charges. There are variable CAM charges and flat CAM charges. The variable charge allows the payment to increase while the flat charge remains the same.

Finally, it may be beneficial for you to see a report of what the previous tenant’s CAM charges were. This can help you get a better idea of what you may be in store for in the future. You’ll never want to pay more than you can afford. After all, this is your business. If you have any other questions about what CAM charges are, feel free to contact us anytime.