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January, 2016

Martin Brothers
ADA Compliance

In order to make it easier to comply with ADA Access regulations regarding disability access and reduce the number of opportunistic lawsuits in the courts, California’s State Legislature enacted SB 1186 in September 2012.

This new law builds a stronger framework of procedural requirements for attorneys that file suits relating to accessibility issues in the built environment. SB 1186 also adds a new section to the California Civil Code — Section 1938 — that subjects commercial property owners (and lessors) to some additional obligations. Primarily, every future lease or rental agreement issued on a property must explicitly state whether or not the property has been inspected for accessibility issues and what the results of any such inspection were. The standard being used to judge accessibility in these matters is Section 55.53 of the California Civil Code. The job of inspecting properties for compliance falls to Certified Access Specialists or CASps. All leases and agreements executed after July 1, 2013 have to comply with these new disclosure rules.

Handrails on wheelchair ramps must meet ADA Guidelines

Photograph by Martin Bros Construction Services ADA-Inspection

Disclosing ADA Requirements

Although the disclosure requirement itself is quite simple to deal with, owners and lessors face a much more complex issue in dealing with the aftermath of a CASp inspection and the larger ramifications of accessibility disclosure. For the vast majority of property owners, the first step moving forward is to look at the owner’s full property portfolio and determine where and when voluntary inspections will be beneficial for each of their properties.

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