The term "CAM" is technically short for "common area maintenance." In the narrowest definition it means just that: building expenses related to maintaining the common areas of a building.
It's unfortunately in the parlance of the commercial real estate industry become interchangeable by some with "operating expenses," ie all operating expenses.
I'd encourage you to be precise: if you mean "all operating expenses including real estate taxes and insurance," say so. And if someone refers to "CAM," you may need to press them to clarify what they mean.
There a wide range of methods by which landlords recover some all or none of various expense categories.
Christopher B. Kubler, CCIM
Feb 21, 2009