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Professional Standards Manual

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2. Acting For Sellers

(c) Property Measurements - View Entire Section

(IV) Measurement of Commercial Properties

[04/03/2012 The following information replaced previous information on measurement of commercial properties]

Commercial properties primarily consist of industrial warehouse, retail and office space. Licensees involved in establishing floor measurements of commercial properties should be aware of the numerous measurement methods available.

Survey records should be available describing the legal lot and the placement of the building situated on the lot. The size (either metric or imperial) of the perimeter of the building is also included in the survey. For a multi-level building, the size should be described for all levels, including below grade. This is sometimes referred to as Construction Area, Gross Building Area or Exterior Gross Area. In general terms, these descriptions reflect the square footage of the building based on perimeter measurements. Review the legal survey notes to determine the treatment of space, such as Balcony, Terrace, Deck, Roof Terrace and Loading Bay areas. Should the legal survey be outdated or unreadable concerning the building measurements, an alternative approach, such as a recent Architectural Design Drawing, Construction Drawings, Working Drawings or Building Plans, can be used so long as the measurements are verified and deemed reliable. Caution must be applied since concept drawings do not necessarily reflect the existing “true built” condition.

In the event the parties agree to a full building spatial audit for the purposes of determining total leasable area, then several other options are available. The Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) publishes six Measurement Standards to help a cross section of commercial real estate professionals. As well, the BOMA BC Office or their website, www.boma.bc.ca, can provide resources and publications with information concerning area measurements and calculations, and is recommended by the Council. BOMA Measurement Standards are known for their consistency and also the thoroughness of addressing all forms of space within a building.

When referring to the square footage of the leasable area of the property, it should be disclosed as to the source for this data and how it was determined. Should the method of measurement be absent of any recognized Measurement Standard, refer to the Lease Agreement for any specific description, or guideline, within the Agreement that establishes a procedure to determine the leasable area. If such guidelines exist, carefully consider the wording in declaring the square footage. Using ambiguous terms, such as “Gross Rent” or “Total Net Lease”, etc., can result in confusion due to the wide range of definitions used in the industry.

The Common Areas described in the Lease Agreement may be classified into two distinct forms; one for the share of common areas referencing all areas within the building itself, and the other concerns the Common Area amenities related to exterior space, such as landscaping, parking, waste containers, etc. Common Areas outside of the building area are rarely incorporated into the Leasable Area and are typically addressed to clarify other maintenance and tax expenses. The current rent roll should be examined and may reveal the square footage that the current rent rate is based upon. The rent roll typically describes the square footage and rent rates for each of the tenanted areas. It may also include detailed adjustment factors for the pro-rated share of common areas.

Due to the complexities in preparing the disclosure of reliable leasable space for commercial properties, the Council recommends a Registered Land Surveyor or a Professional Measurement Service with proven knowledge, experience and expertise in this area to provide assistance when necessary.