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FAQ: Rentable, Usable and Common Areas

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Tony Galetti of Galetti Knight Frank property brokers explains what the differences are between a building's rentable, usable and common areas. The usable area of a building is the portion that you as a tenant would actually lease for your exclusive use. If, for example, you're leasing the entire third floor of a building, that exclusive use area will be considered your usable area. Common areas are areas shared with other tenants, such as stairwells, lobbies, kitchens etc. You would typically pay a percentage or pro-rata contribution towards the common area. The rentable area is the sum of the usable area and the common area. This figure will be used to determine your actual rental figure. If you're renting 230 square metres of office space, for example, with 30 square metres consisting of common areas shared with other tenants, it's important to bear in mind that only 200 square metres of those 230 square metres will be your exclusive usable area. It is important to keep this in mind when signing your lease to ensure that there is no confusion.