Does the Actual Space Measurement Really Matter?

The answer is yes and no. Space measurement does not matter in cases where there is annual or monthly rent defined in the contract in terms of absolute dollars and there is no pass throughs of common area expenses to the tenants. In most other cases size matters and here is why.

Many contracts provide for a rental rate on a dollar per square foot basis. The basis may be rentable, gross, or usable and there are a number of alternative space measurement standards. In these cases, the rent is multiplied by the area of the demised premises so an incorrect rental rate can lead to a discrepancy between what is actually being rented and the amount of the rent.

It is not good practice to accept the landlord’s measurements. There may be errors in the measurement or the basis for the measurement may not be the basis of your rental contract.

In summary, it is appropriate to have the space re-measured in the field and then applied to the rental rate. Rental rates using usable space (typically the carpeted area) are the most appropriate since one only pays for what is being utilized. Note that incorrect space measurements also affect pass through items so an incorrect measurement or application of the measure can have secondary effects as well.

Call a Tenant Representation Broker; they can assist in the process.


Bryan E. Cole

NAI Keystone Commercial & Industrial, LLC