Calculating Square Footage

Lease square footage is calculated by measuring to the outside of the exterior walls and to the middle of interior demising walls.

When leasing space in a multi-tenant building with common areas, i.e., common docks, lobby, a percentage of your leased square footage is attributed to the common elements; therefore, actual useable square footage will be less than the leased square footage.


Gas, electric and water utilities metered to your leased space are the tenant’s responsibility for payments; verify that those utilities are not serving another tenant as well, at your expense.

Security Deposit

The security deposit for a leased space should define under what conditions that the deposit will be returned, a time frame after vacating the premises for refunding the deposit, the condition the premises are to be restored. Prior to lease expiration, tenant and landlord should tour the leased space and itemize improvements that will remain, repairs to be made, etc., creating a checklist for vacating the premises and receiving a full refund of your security deposit.

Scavenger Service

A company that does not generate a great deal of garbage may want to consider sharing the cost of scavenger service with a neighboring tenant.

Occupancy Conditions

Before taking occupancy, document the condition of the premises by videotape or pictures so that you have a record of the condition of walls, floors, doors, etc. for future use if needed.

Parking Issues

Be sure your lease clearly defines your parking area. Some multi-tenant buildings have limited parking; therefore, reserved spots in front of your unit may be requested. Verify that overnight parking of delivery vehicles is allowed by the municipality and landlord, if your business requires that they be kept at the site.

The Landlord

When moving to a complex where you may be unfamiliar with the landlord’s responsiveness to issues that may arise during your tenancy, visit some of the neighboring tenants who are usually more than willing to share information about roof leaks, repairs, snow removal, etc., and how efficiently these issues are handled.


Has the landlord re-keyed the unit since the last tenant vacated? Who else has access to the premises besides you and your employees?

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The Polivka Group, LLC Counselors in Real Estate (708)485-0616. These tips are provided as a courtesy to our clients and are for informational purposes only. Leasing tips for businesses.