California Accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act

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A landlord should include this form in a commercial lease to state whether or not the premises has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist.

Document Last Modified: 5/1/2023

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California Civil Code Section 1938 (which codifies a portion of SB 1186) provides that "[a] commercial property owner or lessor shall state on every lease form or rental agreement executed on or after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), and, if it has, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards pursuant to Section 55.53."

*******It is important to note that Section 1938 does not require that a CASp inspection be completed on the property being leased; rather, it requires disclosure as to whether a CASp inspection has been completed and, if it has, whether the property being leased meets the accessibility standards.

Civil Code Section 55.53(f) confirms that a person’s election not to complete a CASp inspection "shall not be admissible to prove that person’s lack of intent to comply with the law."

The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 also referred to as simply ADA installs protections for those that are disabled. It affects landlords and owners of commercial space in the way of building design. There are precise structural requirements for accessibility such as those for wheel-chairs. The specific rules can be found on the ADA.gov web-site.

With this, being said, California possesses some of the most stringent laws concerning those with disabilities. Out of all the law-suits filed in regard to ADA accessibility requirements, California leads the way with forty percent. You can see how important it is to be sure that all items and due diligence are processed to avoid consequences.

The owner of a commercial property may want to speak with an attorney who is well versed in landlord-tenant law regarding whether it is more advantageous or not to have their property inspected. There are many things to consider when making this decision. Some of the responsibility may fall on a tenant since it is he who will dictate the use of the building and the applicability to the ADA standards; however, do not let that fool you into believing you are not responsible for the ADA standards for your commercial building. One of the protections that may be taken is making sure that the proper paperwork is attached to the lease agreement.

The “ez Landlord Forms California Accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act disclosure” fulfills the requirements for the commercial landlord. The landlord will choose either:

1. The property has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) who certifies that the building meets or exceeds standards as spelled out in the California Civil Code §55.51.
2. The property has not been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

This document is editable so that the form creator (owner of the commercial rental space) can place an “X” next to the applicable choice as explained earlier.

IMPORTANT: The language in the document meets specific requirements. The landlord wants to be careful not to alter the language in this document.

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