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This help desk is a free resource intended for discussion purposes only. Neither BOMA, its chapters, affiliates, or Extreme Measures Inc.® are responsible for the information, comments or opinions expressed herein. For complete information, refer to the official publications of the standards themselves.

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Cross Over Floor

Michael Sadovnick
Sadovnick Morgan LLP
May 18, 2016

Hi there,
The question is whether a cross over floor should be considered building common area or floor common area.

In this specific situation, the floor is required to be maintained open and free of objects in order to ensure that a person who needs to switch fire stair cases can freely go on the floor to the other staircase. A full floor tenant is not permitted to build in to the cross over floor.

As the floor is being maintained for the safety of the entire building and a full floor tenant is not permitted to take over the space that makes up the cross over, then it would appear reasonable that the hallway connecting the fire escapes serves the entire building not just that floor.

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 19, 2016

Hi Michael,

This is a good question. At present, the BOMA Office Standard does not specifically state what to do when there is a cross-over floor. However, I agree with your assessment. If the corridor area is not under the occupants control and they do not have exclusive use and enjoyment of it, it is not reasonable to allocate the corridor as Floor Service Area as it will be allocated entirely to the single occupant. Therefore, I believe Building Service Area is appropriate.

If this was a multi-occupant floor however, I would not be inclined to allocated the entire corridor as Building Service Area because in that case, the multi-occupant corridor is used primarily by the Occupants on that floor and should be Floor Service Area.

Michael Sadovnick
Sadovnick Morgan LLP
May 19, 2016

Thank you. A follow up question.
When calculating the rent for the common area (building or floor), is it the base rent plus the common area amount? ie. If the base rent is 20/ft and the operating/common area is 10/foot, is the tenant paying 20 + 10 for the floor service area or is it just 10/foot?

Thank you.

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 19, 2016

Hi Michael,

That question is really outside of my expertise. The primary purpose of the BOMA Office Standard is to establish rentable areas. As far as I know, a landlord usually charges a tenant a single rate per square foot on the rentable area, which already includes a proportionate share of common areas. However, there is no limit to the potential variables in a lease. Ultimately, the lease is the only thing that matters. If the lease is written in a certain way that allows one rate for the usable area and another rate for the common area, than the lease supersedes all other considerations.

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