Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Let’s say the gross square footage of an office building is 100,000 square feet. The gross square footage of the building is everything contained within the exterior walls. Let’s say that the total square footage of the common areas of the building is 15,000 square feet. This leaves 85,000 sq.ft. of usable space (i.e. suites).
To calculate the load factor we take the total square footage of the common areas, (15,000 sq.ft.) and divide it by the gross square footage of the building, (100,000 sq.ft.). The formula looks like this:
15,000/100,000 = .15. Therefore, the load factor of the building is 15%.
Let’s see how the load factor relates to leasing space within the building. Let’s say that a tenant plans on leasing a suite with 1,200 square feet of usable space. Knowing that the load factor of the building is 15%, the tenant could then calculate the rentable square footage of the suite (1,200 + 15% = 1,380 sq.ft.). So if the monthly rent for the suite is $2.00 per square foot, the tenant’s total monthly rent would be $2,760.00:
(1,380 rentable sq.ft. x $2.00 per sq.ft.= $2,760.00).
The rentable square footage is always higher than the usable square footage because it includes both the tenant’s suite and their percentage of the common areas.
When shopping for space, it’s important for tenants to understand and compare the load factors of the buildings they may be interested in. Higher load factors mean that more of a tenant’s monthly rent will be dedicated to common areas and less to the suite they occupy. That being said, buildings with higher load factors often have amenities, such as spacious lobbies or atriums, which many tenants may find appealing.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
In order to fully understand dual agency, it is important to understand that as far as representation is concerned, the law views the broker of record as the agent and the salespeople that hang their real estate license with that broker as licensees, not as agents. What this means is that a dual agency can exist even if two agents are involved in a transaction because they may share the same broker.
This is particularly important for companies that use a single broker of record for multiple sales offices. In such case, if a licensee from the Downtown office makes an offer on a listing held by another licensee in the Westside office, a dual agency must be disclosed to the parties. Again, this is because there is a single broker of record, agent, for both offices and both licensees are working under that broker/agent. Clearly the same is also true for a single licensee who is acting on behalf of, say, a buyer and seller.
It is important for brokers to understand all the laws surrounding dual agency and how these laws affect their duties of disclosure to their clientele.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Before agreeing to arbitration, there are a few things to consider. First, the process for preparing to appear in arbitration can be identical to preparing for an appearance in civil court. That is to say attorneys can be retained, depositions can be taken and evidence can be requested and exchanged. Therefore, the preparation costs can be the same as for a traditional court case. Also, the final decision of the arbitrator is binding and cannot be appealed, regardless of the legal standing for the decision. In other words, the arbitrator’s decision can be totally arbitrary and without legal precedent or standing. In addition, the cost/fees for the arbitrator can be higher than court fees and costs depending on the length of the arbitration. Finally, there is no assurance that an arbitrator’s decision will be any better or worse than that of a judge. That being said certain ADR companies such as JAMS employ retired judges almost exclusively. This is not to say that binding arbitration is without merit, it is potentially faster than the civil courts and some argue have more predictable outcomes than a jury trial. Also, if privacy is an issue, ADR can be much more discreet than the civil court system. In addition, in the event that there are technical elements to a case, many attorneys prefer to argue in front of an arbitrator with some level of technical expertise as opposed to a jury of laypeople.
A few precautions can be taken prior to agreeing to an arbitration clause. First, make vetting the arbitrator a part of the agreement. Selecting an arbitrator with an extensive real estate background would be wise. Also, the parties may want to consider setting financial limits. For example, the parties could exclude any disputed amounts that qualify for small claims court and/or placing a cap on the amount subject to the arbitration.