Top FAQs: #5

5) What is the difference between useable square feet and rentable square feet?
When leasing in a commercial building, it is important to understand the difference between the usable and rentable square feet and how they factor into your monthly payment.
Usable Square Feet (USF) is the specific area the tenant will occupy in order to do business. It is the actual space used from wall to wall and does not include common areas like columns, corridors, bathrooms, elevator and stair shafts, window frames or HVAC units against the window. If a tenant is occupying an entire floor, the USF would include restrooms, hallways and other exclusive areas serving only that floor. The usable square footage is always less than the rentable, however tenants pay rent based on the rentable square footage.
Rentable Square Feet(RSF) is the usable square feet of the office space in addition to a portion of the building’s common areas. This includes anything outside of the occupied space such as lobbies, bathrooms and hallways, etc. This is also referred to as the “load factor” or “loss factor”, and typically ranges from 10% – 20%, in some cases even higher.
Load factor = Rentable square feet / Usable square feet
For example: A 200,000 square foot building has 25,000 square feet of shared space. The usable square footage is 175,000 square feet. When calculated, the load factor (200,000 / 175,000) is 1.142, meaning the building has a load factor of 14.2%.


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