Understand Approximate Square Footage for Office Space

When you lease an office space, a common item in any offer letter states “approximate square footage”. Within  Commercial Real Estate in Austin potentially up to 30 percent is not measured correctly by landlords. If there is a discrepancy between the actual square footage of office space versus what the approximate square footage is, that is called phantom space, so basically you are paying potentially more for the space that what is actually there.

Measuring an office

A landlord that does not measure the office area accurately can make up to an additional 10% premium on the office space and typically a tenant does not want to spend the time to hire a professional to measure the actual square footage of the space  If the square footage measurement is not accurate, a tenant could be stuck with paying a premium for office space that does not exist and over a long term lease this could cost the tenant quite a bit of money.

A good rule of thumb would be to hire an architect or a space planner to measure the actual square footage of the office space if it is in question. The choice in the matter is up to the tenant.  A tenant can protect themselves from paying too much in rent payments every month if they hire a professional to measure the square footage of the office space to get an accurate number.

It could come out in the tenants favor as well if the actual square footage of the offices is higher than what the landlord is saying it is . On the flip side if the square footage comes in lower than what the landlord has listed, you can appeal this in the leasing process and negotiations and ask the landlord to correct the error before you execute a lease.  So the bottom line is, if the square footage does not seem to be accurate, hire a professional to confirm the numbers are correct.