What is Common Area Maintenance (CAM)?

Common area maintenance (CAM) refers to the services and expenses necessary to maintain and operate the shared areas of a commercial or residential property. These areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Parking lots
  • Lobbies
  • Public restrooms
  • Building security
  • Utilities (lighting, water, trash)
  • Landscaping
  • Snow and ice removal

 Why is Common Area Maintenance Important?

Common area maintenance is important for several reasons:

  • Improves the aesthetics and curb appeal of the property: Well-maintained common areas create a positive impression for tenants, visitors, and potential clients.
  • Increases security: Regular maintenance helps to prevent accidents and injuries in common areas.
  • Extends the life of the property: Proper maintenance helps to prevent damage to the property and reduces the need for costly repairs.
  • Improves tenant morale: Clean and well-maintained common areas contribute to a more pleasant living environment for tenants.
  • Complies with laws and regulations: In many cases, there are laws and regulations that require property owners to maintain common areas in safe and habitable condition.

 Who is Responsible for Common Area Maintenance?

The responsibility for common area maintenance is typically established in the lease agreement. In most cases, the landlord is responsible for maintaining the common areas, and tenants pay a monthly common area maintenance (CAM) fee to cover these costs.

 What is Included in Common Area Maintenance Costs?

CAM costs can vary depending on the size and type of property, as well as the specific services that are provided. However, some of the common CAM costs include:

  • Maintenance staff salaries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Equipment repairs and maintenance
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Taxes

 How are Common Area Maintenance Costs Calculated?

CAM costs are typically calculated based on the percentage of space leased by each tenant. For example, if a tenant leases 10% of the total space in a property, then they would be responsible for 10% of the total CAM costs.

 How Can I Reduce Common Area Maintenance Costs?

There are a few things that tenants can do to help reduce CAM costs:

  • Conserve energy: Turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
  • Report maintenance problems promptly: This will help to prevent problems from becoming worse and more expensive to fix.
  • Recycle and dispose of waste properly: This will help to reduce garbage collection costs.
  • Participate in community maintenance activities: Tenants can help to keep common areas clean and well-maintained by participating in activities such as gardening or cleaning.


Common area maintenance is an important part of property and rental management. By understanding the costs and responsibilities of CAM, landlords and tenants can work together to keep common areas in good condition and reduce costs.