When a commercial building is leased based on the floor area, there is often a requirement for the Lettable area to be determined. This can prevent arguments between lessor and lessee and resolve arguments on what is included in the lease area. The Property Council of Australia publishes a document known as the Method of Measurement for Lettable Area which sets out guidelines for measuring floor space in leased premises.

It is recommended that the lettable area of a premises should be determined as a part of negotiations for a lease. The parties should decide which method should be used to determine the floor area. There are methods of measurement for three types of premises:

  1. Gross Lettable Area (Retail).

The Gross Lettable Area (Retail), abbreviated as GLAR, is used for calculating retail tenancy areas in shopping centres, commercial buildings, or strip shops, free-standing shops, semi detached or terrace type shops in suburban streets.

  1. Gross Lettable Area

The Gross Lettable Area (GLA) is used for calculating tenancy areas in warehouses, industrial buildings, free standing supermarkets and showrooms.

  1. Nett Lettable Area

The Nett Lettable Area (NLA) is used for calculating tenancy areas in office buildings and office and business parks.

Each method of measurement is slightly different in terms of the way the area is measured – whether it is to inside face of wall, mall line and so on.  It is important to use the correct method of measurement for the appropriate type of tenancy.

The Method of Measurement provides rules for single and multiple tenancies with a building, as well as mixed uses within a building.

When determining the lettable area of a building, a surveyor measures the floor area according to the appropriate PCA Method of Measurement. Compass Consulting Surveyors use a laser measuring tool for most PCA surveys, inputting the data to Civilcad software for calculations then to AutoCAD for drafting the plan.

It is best to have the floor plans for a building on hand when measuring for a PCA survey, as this can indicate whether any hidden voids within the building which may affect the outcome of the survey. Where floor plans are not available, the surveyor must make a professional judgement and note in the report that the floor plans were not available.

If you have any queries regarding the lettable area of a commercial premises, please contact Compass Consulting Surveyors. We are happy to provide advice and surveying services to assist with your project.

Eric Smith

Registered Surveyor