Lease Square Foot Measurements
Usable Square Footage
Usable Square Footage or USF is the total usable floor area of a tenant space or building. Usable Square Footage is measured from the outside or outer surface of any exterior walls and windows, including the center of any interior walls that are adjacent to other tenant spaces, hallways or common areas. Similar to ~ow homes are assessed, the measurements are from the outside of the exterior walls.
Usable Square Footage is the space a tenant will actually occupy, as compared to the Rentable Square Footage the tenant will pay rent on. Usable Square Footage is sometimes called Leasable Square Footage.
Architects and tenants will often measure a space from the inside of all the walls of a space, and in doing so, will calculate a square footage that is less than the landlord's calculation of the Leasable Square Footage or Usable Square Footage. Although this is needed II1(hen designing a space, this is not the same as Usable Square Footage or Leasable Square Footage. Measuring from the interior walls of a space will not get you to an accurate measurement of USF.
When measuring a space, it's important to understand the location of the measurements as well as even the thickness of the walls to make an accurate calculation. An architect or space planner can help ensure a more accurate measurement than most individuals trying to use a tape measure or laser device.
Usable Square Footage should not include any common areas of the building such as hallways, public corridors, common areas, restrooms, etc. The definition of Usable Square Footage is the official measurement of the space or square footage you will actually occupy.
Rentable Square Footage
Rentable Square Footage or RSF is the total square footage that tenants pay rent on al)d equals the Usable Square Footage plus the tenant's pro-rata share of the Building Common Areas, such as: lobbies, public corridors, hallways, restrooms, utility closets, fire-sprinkler rooms, etc.
The same concept is usually the case when also dividing the cost of maintaining any common space; it is divided on a pro-rata basis.
Rentable Square Footage differs from Usable Square Footage in that Usable Square Footage is the tenant's specific space they occupy whereas Rentable Square Footage also includes a portion or percentage of the property's common areas.
The pro-rata share has many synonyms and is often referred to as the Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, the Core Factor, the Loss Factor or the Common Area Factor. Regardless of what title it receives, the amount will typically fall in a range of 110 to 120 percent of the Usable Square Footage, depending on the particular building. Typically, a tenant who occupies an entire floor of an office building will have a lower R/U Factor compared to a tenant who occupies only a portion of a floor.
Buildings or properties that offer additional amenities such as conference rooms, fitness gyms or other property amenities usually include those square footages as part of the common areas which will increase both the Rentable SF Factor and the overall Rentable Square Footage.
Tenants should read proposed leases very carefully as landlords can be very creative.