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Terminology

A

Abatement

Free or reduced rent for a fixed period of time.

Above Building Standard

Upgraded finishes and specialized designs necessary to accommodate a tenant’s proposed leasehold improvements.

Allowance or Construction Allowance

The contribution by the landlord for the cost of tenant improvement in excess of the base building shell, often expressed as a cost per square foot with a maximum.

Anchor Tenant or Major

The major or prime tenant in a shopping center, building, etc.

As-Is Condition

The acceptance by the tenant of the existing condition of the premises at the time the lease is consummated, including any defects.

Assignment

A transfer by lessee of lessee’s entire estate in the property. Distinguishable from a sublease where the sublessee acquires something less than the lessee’s entire interest.

B

Base Rent

A set amount used as a minimum rent in a lease with provisions for increasing the rent over the term of the lease.

Base Year

Actual taxes and operating expenses for a specified base year, most often the year in which the lease commences. Once the base year expenses are known, the lease essentially becomes a dollar s lease.

Building Classifications

Building classifications usually refer to Class A, B, C (sometimes D) properties. Classifications are subjective, Class A buildings generally feature superior construction and finish and are well located. They frequently offer covered parking. These buildings, of course, command the highest rental rates in their sub-market. The lower Classes of buildings are progressively less desirable due to age, location or construction. Rents decline as the class of the property declines.

Building or "Core" Factor

Represents the percentage of Net Rentable Square Feet devoted to the building's common areas (lobbies, rest rooms, corridors, etc.). This factor can be computed for an entire building or a single floor of a building. Also known as a Loss Factor or Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, it is calculated by dividing the rentable square footage by the usable square footage.

Building Standard

A list of construction materials and finishes that represent what the Tenant Improvement (Finish) Allowance/Work Letter is designed to cover while also serving to establish the landlord's minimum quality standards with respect to tenant finish improvements within the building. Examples of standard building items are type and style of doors, lineal feet of partitions, quantity of lights, quality of floor covering, etc.

Build-To-Suit

An approach taken to lease space by a property owner where a new building is designed and constructed per the tenant’s specifications.

C

Capital Expenses

A capital expense is generally defined by reference to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but GAAP is often unclear on whether a particular item is a capital expense

Certificate of Occupancy

A document presented by a local government agency or building department certifying that a building and/or the leased premises (tenant's space), has been satisfactorily inspected and is/are in a condition suitable for occupancy.

Clear-Span Facility

A building, most often a warehouse or parking garage, with vertical columns on the outside edges of the structure and a clear span between columns.

Common Area

There are two components of the term "common area". If referred to in association with the Rentable/Usable or Load Factor calculation, the common areas are those areas within a building that are available for common use by all tenants or groups of tenants and their invitees (i.e. lobbies, corridors, restrooms, etc.). On the other hand, the cost of maintaining parking facilities, malls, sidewalks, landscaped areas, public toilets, truck and service facilities, and the like are included in the term "common area" when calculating the tenant's pro-rata share of building operating expenses.

Common Area Maintenance (CAM)

This is the amount of Additional Rent charged to the tenant, in addition to the Base Rent, to maintain the common areas of the property shared by the tenants and from which all tenants benefit. Examples include snow removal, outdoor lighting, parking lot sweeping, insurance, property taxes, etc. Most often, this does not include any capital improvements (see "Capital Expenses") that are made to the property.

Comparables or Fair Market Comparables

Lease rates and terms of properties similar in size, construction quality, age, use, and typically located within the same sub-market and used as comparison properties to determine the fair market lease rate for another property with similar characteristics.

Concessions

Cash or cash equivalents expended by the landlord in the form of rental abatement, additional tenant finish allowance, moving expenses, cabling expenses or other monies expended to influence or persuade the tenant to sign a lease.

Condemnation

The process of taking private property, without the consent of the owner, by a governmental agency for public use through the power of eminent domain.

Consumer Price Index ("CPI")

Measures inflation in relation to the change in the price of a fixed market basket of goods and services purchased by a specified population during a "base" period of time. It is not a true "cost of living" factor and bears little direct relation to actual costs of building operation or the value of real estate. The CPI is commonly used to increase the base rental periodically as a means of protecting the landlord's rental stream against inflation or to provide a cushion for operating expense increases for a landlord unwilling to undertake the record keeping necessary for operating expense escalations.

Contiguous Space

(1) Multiple suites/spaces within the same building and on the same floor which can be combined and rented to a single tenant. (2) A block of space located on multiple adjoining floors in a building (i.e., a tenant leases floors 6 through 12 in a building).

Contract Documents

The complete set of design plans and specifications for the construction of a building or of a building’s interior improvements. Working Drawings specify for the contractor the precise manner in which a project is to be constructed.

Core Factor

Represents the percentage of Net Rentable Square Feet devoted to the building’s common areas (lobbies, rest rooms, corridors, etc.). This factor can be computed for an entire building or a single floor of a building. Also known as a Loss Factor or Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, it is calculated by dividing the rentable square footage by the usable square footage."

Covenant

A written agreement inserted into deeds or other legal instruments stipulating performance or non-performance of certain acts or, uses or non-use of a property and/or land.

D

Default

The general failure to perform a legal or contractual duty under a commercial lease, such as not paying rent when due, or the breach of other nonmonetary lease covenants.

Demising Walls

The partition wall that separates one tenant’s space from another or from the building’s common area such as a public corridor.

Design/Build

A system in which a single entity is responsible for both the design and construction. The term can apply to an entire facility or to individual components of the construction to be performed by a subcontractor; also referred to as “design/construct”.

Depreciation

Spreading out the cost of a capital asset over its estimated useful life or a decrease in the usefulness, and therefore value, of real property improvements or other assets caused by deterioration or obsolescence.

E

Effective Rent

The actual rental rate to be achieved by the landlord after deducting the value of concessions from the base rental rate paid by a tenant, usually expressed as an average rate over the term of the lease.

Efficiency Factor

Represents the percentage of Net Rentable Square Feet devoted to the building’s common areas (lobbies, rest rooms, corridors, etc.). This factor can be computed for an entire building or a single floor of a building. Also known as a Core Factor or Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, it is calculated by dividing the rentable square footage by the usable square footage.

Encroachment

The intrusion of a structure which extends, without permission, over a property line, easement boundary or building setback line.

Encumbrance

Any right to, or interest in, real property held by someone other than the owner, but which will not prevent the transfer of fee title (i.e. a claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding real property).

Equity

The fair market value of an asset less any outstanding indebtedness or other encumbrances.

Escalation Clause

A clause in a lease which provides for the rent to be increased to reflect changes in expenses paid by the landlord such as real estate taxes, operating costs, etc. This may be accomplished by several means such as fixed periodic increases, increases tied to the Consumer Price Index or adjustments based on changes in expenses paid by the landlord in relation to a dollar s or base year reference.

Exclusive Agency Listing

A written agreement between a real estate broker and a property owner in which the owner promises to pay a fee or commission to the broker if specified real property is leased during the listing period. The broker need not be the procuring cause of the lease.

Expansion Option

A right for the tenant to increase the size of its premises under specified terms and conditions.

F

Fair Market Value

The sale price at which a property would change hands between a willing buyer and willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. Also known as FMV.

First Generation Space

Generally refers to new space that is currently available for lease and has never before been occupied by a tenant.

First Refusal Right or Right Of First Refusal

A lease clause giving a tenant the first opportunity to buy or lease a property at the same price and on the same terms and conditions as those contained in a third party offer that the owner has expressed a willingness to accept. Such rights often pertain to adjacent space.

Flex Space

A building providing its occupants the flexibility of utilizing the space. Usually provides a configuration allowing a flexible amount of office or showroom space in combination with manufacturing, laboratory, warehouse distribution, etc. Typically also provides the flexibility to relocate overhead doors. Generally constructed with little or no common areas, load-bearing floors, loading dock facilities and high ceilings.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

The ratio of the gross square footage of a building to the land on which it is situated. Calculated by dividing the total square footage in the building by the square footage of land area.

Force Majeure

A force that cannot be controlled by the parties to a contract and prevents said parties from complying with the provisions of the contract. This includes acts of God such as a flood or a hurricane or, acts of man such as a strike, fire or war.

Foreclosure

A procedure by which the mortgagee (“lender”) either takes title to or forces the sale of the mortgagor’s (“borrower”) property in satisfaction of a debt.

Full Service Rent

An all-inclusive rental rate that includes operating expenses and real estate taxes for the first year. The tenant is generally still responsible for any increase in operating expenses over the base year amount.

Future Proposed Space

Space in a proposed commercial development which is not yet under construction or where no construction start date has been set. Future Proposed projects include all those projects waiting for a lead tenant, financing, zoning, approvals or any other event necessary to begin construction. Also may refer to the future phases of a multi-phase project not yet built.

G

Gross Building Area

The total floor area of the building measuring from the outer surface of exterior walls and windows and including all vertical penetrations (e.g. elevator shafts, etc.) and basement space.

Gross Lease

A lease in which the tenant pays a flat sum for rent out of which the landlord must pay all expenses such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc.

Ground Rent

Rent paid to the owner for use of land, normally on which to build a building. Generally, the arrangement is that of a long-term lease (e.g., 99 years) with the lessor retaining title to the land.

Guarantor

One who makes a guaranty or promises to pay a third party’s obligations.

Guaranty

Agreement whereby the guarantor undertakes collaterally to assure satisfaction of the debt of another or perform the obligation of another if and when the debtor fails to do so. Differs from a surety agreement in that there is a separate and distinct contract rather than a joint undertaking with the principal.

H

Hold Over Tenant

A tenant retaining possession of the leased premises after the expiration of a lease.

HVAC

The acronym for “Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning”.

I

Improvements

Generally refers to the improvements made to or inside a building but may include any permanent structure or other development, such as a street, sidewalks, utilities, etc.

L

Lease

An agreement whereby the owner of real property (i.e., landlord/lessor) gives the right of possession to another (i.e., tenant/lessee) for a specified period of time (i.e., term) and for a specified consideration (i.e., rent).

Lease Agreement

The formal legal document entered into between a Landlord and a Tenant to reflect the terms of the negotiations between them; that is, the lease terms have been negotiated and agreed upon, and the agreement has been reduced to writing. It constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and sets forth their basic legal rights.

Lease Commencement Date

The date usually constitutes the commencement of the term of the Lease for all purposes, whether or not the tenant has actually taken possession so long as beneficial occupancy is possible. In reality, there could be other agreements, such as an Early Occupancy Agreement, which have an impact on this strict definition.

Leasehold Improvements

Improvements made to the leased premises by or for a tenant. Generally, especially in new space, part of the negotiations will include in some detail the improvements to be made in the leased premises by Landlord.

Letter Of Intent

A preliminary agreement stating the proposed terms for a final contract. They can be "binding" or "non-binding". This is the threshold issue in most litigation concerning letters of intent. The parties should always consult their respective legal counsel before signing any Letter of Intent.

Lien

A claim or encumbrance against property used to secure a debt, charge or the performance of some act. Includes liens acquired by contract or by operation of law. Note that all liens are encumbrances but all encumbrances are not liens.

Lien Waiver (Waiver of Liens)

A waiver of mechanic’s lien rights, signed by a general contractor and his subcontractors, that is often required before the general contractor can receive a draw under the payment provisions of a construction contract. May also be required before the owner can receive a draw on a construction loan.

Listing Agreement

An agreement between the owner of a property and a real estate broker giving the broker the authorization to attempt to sell or lease the property at a certain price and terms in return for a commission, set fee or other form of compensation.

Long Term Lease

In most markets, this refers to a lease whose term is at least three years from initial signing until the date of expiration or renewal option.

Lump-Sum Contract

A type of construction contract requiring the general contractor to complete a building or project for a fixed cost normally established by competitive bidding. The contractor absorbs any loss or retains any profit.

M

Market Rent

The rental income that a property would command on the open market with a landlord and a tenant ready and willing to consummate a lease in the ordinary course of business; indicated by the rents that landlords were willing to accept and tenants were willing to pay in recent lease transactions for comparable space.

Master Lease

A primary lease that controls subsequent leases and which may cover more property than subsequent leases. An Executive Suite operation is a good example in that a primary lease is signed with the landlord and then individual offices within the leased premises are leased to other individuals or companies.

Mixed-Use

Space within a building or project providing for more than one use (i.e., a loft or apartment project with retail, an apartment building with office space, an office building with retail space).

N

Net Lease

A lease in which there is a provision for the tenant to pay, in addition to rent, certain costs associated with the operation of the property. These costs may include property taxes, insurance, repairs, utilities, and maintenance. There are also “NN” (double net) and “NNN” (triple net) leases. The difference between the three is the degree to which the tenant is responsible for operating costs.

Net Rentable Area

The floor area of a building that remains after the square footage represented by vertical penetrations, such as elevator shafts, etc., has been deducted. Common areas and mechanical rooms are included and there are no deductions made for necessary columns and projections of the building.

Non-Compete Clause

A clause that can be inserted into a lease specifying that the business of the tenant is exclusive in the property and that no other tenant operating the same or similar type of business can occupy space in the building. This clause benefits service-oriented businesses desiring exclusive access to the building’s population (i.e. travel agent, deli, etc.).

Normal Wear and Tear

The deterioration or loss in value caused by the tenant’s normal and reasonable use. In many leases the tenant is not responsible for “normal wear and tear”.

O

Operating Expenses

The actual costs associated with operating a property including maintenance, repairs, management, utilities, taxes and insurance. A landlord’s definition of operating expenses is likely to be quite broad, covering most aspects of operating the building.

P

Parking Ratio or Index

The intent of this ratio is to provide a uniform method of expressing the amount of parking that is available at a given building. Dividing the total rentable square footage of a building by the building’s total number of parking spaces provides the amount of rentable square feet per each individual parking space (expressed as 1/xxx or 1 per xxx). Dividing 1000 by the previous result provides the ratio of parking spaces available per each 1000 rentable square feet (expressed as x per 1000).

Pass Throughs

Refers to the tenant's pro rata share of operating expenses (i.e. taxes, utilities, repairs) paid in addition to the base rent.

Percentage Lease

Refers to a provision of the lease calling for the landlord to be paid a percentage of the tenant's gross sales as a component of rent. There is usually a base rent amount to which "percentage" rent is then added. This type of clause is most often found in retail leases.

Performance Bond

A surety bond posted by a contractor guaranteeing full performance of a contract with the proceeds to be used to complete the contract or compensate for the owner’s loss in the event of nonperformance.

Preleased

Refers to space in a proposed building that has been leased before the start of construction or in advance of the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

Prime Tenant

The major tenant in a building or, the major or anchor tenant in a shopping center serving to attract other, smaller tenants into adjacent space because of the customer traffic generated.

Pro rata

Proportionately; according to measure, interest, or liability. In the case of a tenant, the proportionate share of expenses for the maintainenance and operation of the property.

R

Real Property

Land, and generally whatever is erected or affixed to the land, such as buildings, fences, and including light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other items which would be personal property if not attached.

Recapture

A clause giving the lessor a percentage of profits above a fixed amount of rent; or in a percentage lease, a clause granting the landlord a right to terminate the lease if the tenant fails to realize minimum sales.

Renewal Option

A clause giving a tenant the right to extend the term of a lease, usually for a stated period of time and at a rent amount as provided for in the option language.

Rent

Compensation or fee paid, usually periodically (i.e. monthly rent payments, for the occupancy and use of any rental property, land, buildings, equipment, etc.

Rent Commencement Date

The date on which a tenant begins paying rent. The dynamics of a marketplace will dictate whether this date coincides with the lease commencement date or if it commences months later (i.e., in a weak market, the tenant may be granted several months free rent). It will never begin before the lease commencement date.

Rentable Square Footage

Rentable Square Footage equals the Usable Square Footage plus the tenant’s pro rata share of the Building Common Areas, such as lobbies, public corridors and restrooms. The pro-rata share, often referred to as the Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, will typically be at least 1.10 and may be higher for more inefficient buildings (such as historic rehabilitations) or for partial floors.

Rentable / Usable Ratio

That number obtained when the Total Rentable Area in a building is divided by the Usable Area in the building. The inverse of this ratio describes the proportion of space that an occupant can expect to actually utilize/physically occupy.

Rental Concession

Concessions a landlord may offer a tenant in order to secure their tenancy. While rental abatement is one form of a concession, there are many others such as increased tenant improvement allowance, signage, lower than market rental rates and moving allowances are only a few of the many.

Representation
Agreement

An agreement between the owner of a property and a real estate broker giving the broker the authorization to attempt to sell or lease the property at a certain price and terms in return for a commission, set fee or other form of compensation.

Right Of First Refusal

See “First Refusal Right”.

S

Sale-Leaseback

Essentially a financing transaction where the owner occupant of a property agrees to sell all or part of the property to an investor and then lease it back and continue to occupy space as a tenant. Although the lease technically follows the sale, both will have been agreed to as part of the same transaction. ►See available LA products on this topic.

Security Deposit

A deposit of money by a tenant to a landlord to secure performance of a lease. This deposit can also take the form of a Letter of Credit or other financial instrument.

Slab

The exposed wearing surface laid over the structural support beams of a building to form the floor(s) of the building or laid slab-on-grade in the case of a non-structural, ground level concrete slab.

Space Plan

A graphic representation of a tenant’s space requirements, showing wall and door locations, room sizes, and sometimes includes furniture layouts. A preliminary space plan will be prepared for a prospective tenant at any number of different properties and this serves as a “test-fit” to help the tenant determine which property will best meet its requirements. When the tenant has selected a building of choice, a final space plan is prepared which speaks to all of the landlord and tenant objectives and then approved by both parties. It must be sufficiently detailed to allow an accurate estimate of the construction costs. This final space plan will often become an exhibit to any lease negotiated between the parties.

Step-Up Lease   (Graded Lease)

A lease specifying set increases in rent at set intervals during the term of the lease.

Straight Lease (Flat Lease)

A lease specifying the same, a fixed amount, of rent that is to be paid periodically during the entire term of the lease. This is typically paid out in monthly installments.

T

Tenant (Lessee)

One who rents real estate from another and holds an estate by virtue of a lease.

Tenant At Will

One who holds possession of premises by permission of the owner or landlord, the characteristics of which are an uncertain duration (i.e. without a fixed term) and the right of either party to terminate on proper notice.

Tenant
Improvements

Improvements made to the leased premises by or for a tenant. Generally, especially in new space, part of the negotiations will include in some detail the improvements to be made in the leased premises by the landlord.

Tenant Improvement (“TI”) Allowance or Work Letter

Defines the fixed amount of money contributed by the landlord toward tenant improvements. The tenant pays any of the costs that exceed this amount. Also commonly referred to as "Tenant Finish Allowance.

Time Is Of The Essence

Means that performance by one party within the period specified in the contract is essential to require performance by the other party.

Triple Net (NNN) Rent

A lease in which the tenant pays, in addition to rent, certain costs associated with a leased property, which may include property taxes, insurance premiums, repairs, utilities, and maintenances. There are also “Net Leases" and “NN” (double net) leases, depending upon the degree to which the tenant is responsible for operating costs.

Turn Key Project or Premises

The construction of a project in which a third party, usually a developer or general contractor, is responsible for the total completion of a building (including construction and interior design) or, the construction of tenant improvements to the customized requirements and specifications of a future owner or tenant. This term refers to the fact that the space is completely constructed and ready for occupancy, and the tenant need only “turn the key” to occupy the space (i.e., no further work is necessary).

U

Use

The specific purpose for which a parcel of land or a building is intended to be used as specified in the lease’s use clause.

Usable Square  Footage

Usable Square Footage is the area contained within the demising walls of the tenant space. Total Usable Square Footage equals the Net Square Footage x the Circulation Factor. Also see Circulation Factor and Net Square Footage.

V

Vacancy Factor

The amount of gross revenue that pro forma income statements anticipate will be lost because of vacancies, often expressed as a percentage of the total rentable square footage available in a building or project.

Vacancy Rate

The total amount of available space compared to the total inventory of space and expressed as a percentage. This is calculated by multiplying the vacant space times 100 and then dividing it by the total inventory.

W

Workletter or Work Letter

A list of the building standard items that the landlord will contribute as part of the tenant improvements. Examples of the building standard items typically identified include style and type of doors, lineal feet of partitions, type and quantity of lights, quality of floor coverings, number of telephone and electrical outlets, etc. The Workletter often carries a dollar value but is contrasted with a fixed dollar tenant improvement allowance that can be used at the tenant’s discretion.

Working Drawings

The set of plans for a building or project that comprise the contract documents that indicate the precise manner in which a project is to be built. This set of plans includes a set of specifications for the building or project.


 

Master plan Gurgaon 2031

Master Plan Noida

Area Convertor