Understanding BOMA – How to calculate BOMA load factor

How to calculate BOMA load factor

Understanding BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) standards is essential for managing and leasing commercial properties. Property owners and managers can benefit from the guidelines and best practices provided by BOMA standards to promote equity and openness in leasing agreements. Calculating the BOMA load factor, which is crucial for figuring out rental rates and operating costs, is one of the fundamental components of BOMA standards. This post will explain the BOMA load factor, why it’s important, and how to compute it precisely.

What is the BOMA Load Factor?

Defining BOMA Load Factor

In commercial real estate, the BOMA load factor—also referred to as the Common Area Factor—is an essential idea. It shows how much of a commercial property’s common areas—like lobbies, hallways, bathrooms, and shared amenities—relative to the overall size that can be rented out. It measures the common areas in a building utilized by all occupants.

Importance of BOMA Load Factor

For both property owners and tenants, it is essential to comprehend the BOMA load factor. For property owners, it plays a significant role in determining rental rates, operating expenses, and the fair distribution of costs among tenants. Ensuring transparency in lease agreements benefits tenants by assisting them in understanding the specific portion of the property they are paying for.

BOMA Load Factor Components

To calculate the BOMA load factor accurately, you need to consider the following components:

1. Rentable Area

The rentable area refers to the total space within a property that can be leased to tenants. It includes both usable space and a portion of common areas. Calculating the rentable area is a crucial first step in determining the BOMA load factor.

2. Common Areas

Common areas are spaces within the property that are shared by all tenants. These may include hallways, lobbies, elevators, stairwells, restrooms, and other communal spaces. The BOMA load factor takes into account a portion of these common areas.

Understanding the Purpose of BOMA Load Factor

Equitable Distribution of Operating Expenses

The BOMA load factor ensures that operating expenses for common areas are distributed equitably among tenants. Property owners use this factor to allocate costs based on the proportion of space each tenant occupies.

Basis for Rent Determination

For property owners and tenants, the BOMA load factor plays a pivotal role in determining rental rates. It helps establish fair market value for leasing commercial spaces by factoring in the shared amenities and common areas.

Impact on Property Valuation

Property valuation is influenced by the BOMA load factor. It affects the perceived value of a property, especially when it comes to potential buyers or investors evaluating its income-generating potential.

Factors Influencing BOMA Load Factor

Several factors can influence the BOMA load factor of a commercial property:

1. Building Design and Layout

The architectural design and layout of a building can significantly impact the proportion of common areas. Efficiently designed properties with minimal common space may have a lower BOMA load factor.

2. Property Management Practices

How common areas are maintained and managed can also affect the load factor. Well-maintained common areas may be more attractive to tenants, potentially impacting the rental rates.

3. Local Market Conditions

Market conditions in the region where the property is located can influence the load factor. High-demand areas may command higher rental rates, affecting the proportion of common area costs.

4. Tenant Requirements

Tenant needs and preferences can impact the BOMA load factor. Different types of businesses may have varying requirements for common areas, affecting their willingness to lease a space.

BOMA Load Factor in Lease Agreements

Lease Negotiations

When negotiating lease agreements, both property owners and tenants must understand the BOMA load factor. It helps in establishing fair rental rates and ensuring that tenants are aware of what they are paying for.

Transparency and Communication

Transparent communication about the BOMA load factor is essential to avoid disputes. Lease agreements should clearly outline how the load factor is calculated and applied.

Avoiding Disputes

By maintaining transparency and clarity in lease agreements, property owners and tenants can reduce the likelihood of disputes related to the BOMA load factor.

Tips for Accurate Load Factor Calculations

To ensure accurate BOMA load factor calculations, consider the following tips:

Data Collection and Verification

Thoroughly collect and verify data related to rentable areas and common spaces. Accurate measurements are essential for precise calculations.

Regular Updates and Audits

Regularly update load factor calculations to account for changes in common area usage or property renovations. Periodic audits can help maintain accuracy.

Professional Guidance

Seek professional guidance from experts in commercial real estate and property management to ensure compliance with BOMA standards and best practices.


In conclusion, In the commercial real estate sector, knowing how to compute the BOMA load factor is crucial for managers, tenants, and property owners. It is a tool for determining rent, allocating costs fairly, and appraising real estate. You can trust professionals like Measure Up Corp. to walk you through the process to guarantee precise computations and clear lease agreements. Adopting BOMA standards can result in more fair and advantageous interactions between landlords and tenants.