New law encourages more transparency about ADA inspections

November 2, 2016

 

disabled parkingSTOCKTON — Renters of commercial real estate will have added protections, and owners will have more responsibilities, under a law that will take effect in January.

The new law, AB 2093, was part of a host of regulations aimed at cracking down on the abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act to launch frivolous lawsuits.

The new regulation requires commercial landlords to provide tenants with reports pinpointing ADA access violations, if inspected by a Certified Access Specialist. That will, in theory, reduce the chances of a tenant being sued. It will also mean more headaches for landlords.

“Basically it means there is more paperwork to do,” said BLR Asset Management Senior Asset Manager Peter Martin. “It places a higher burden on leasing agents to be up on the ADA as to what is in or not in compliance.”

BLR Asset Management focuses primarily on property management. The leasing end of its  business concentrates on renewals. Martin said the law was largely an extension of an earlier regulation that required landlords to state on a lease whether the property has undergone inspection by a certified access specialist.

The new law requires landlords to state not only whether a CASp survey has been done, but if there are any issues regarding ADA compliance. Leases also have to specify fixes and who will pay for them.

If a property has been inspected, the landlord has to give the tenant the report and CASp certificate within seven days of the execution of the lease.

The law also gives tenants the option getting a CASp report on a property before they enter into a lease.

“In the past, it was fine to say, ‘We don’t have a CASp report on this property,” said Martin. “Now the landlord has to disclose the specific work that needs to be done.”

He said the new law emphasizes the importance of having the CASp report on a potential property.

“At BLR, our policy is always to have CASp report,” he said. “We always have a frank discussion with our tenants on what they might need.”

 

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