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Extra! Extra! Read All About It. California Leases Require Update

In 2013 we authored a Law Update on the California disability access law. Among other changes, the 2013 California law required that a commercial property owner or landlord state on every lease form or rental agreement executed after July 1, 2013, whether the property being leased or rented has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp). A CASp is an individual certified by the State of California to inspect construction-related access to public accommodations by persons with disabilities. A CASp has knowledge regarding state and federal accessibility laws including the ADA.

In a continuing effort to reduce the number of accessibility lawsuits, California Assembly Bill 2093 was signed into law in September 2016 and became effective January 1, 2017. The new law is intended to encourage the disclosure of any accessibility concerns between a landlord and tenant during lease negotiations. The new law expands on the 2013 law by requiring additional disclosures and lease agreement provisions. The specific disclosures required by the new law include:

  • If the commercial premises has undergone a CASp inspection, then a copy of all reports must be provided to the tenant at least 48 hours prior to execution of the lease. The report is to remain confidential except to the extent necessary to remedy any identified deficiencies. The property owner must also state that no alterations have been completed since the inspection that impact compliance with accessibility standards.
  • If the CASp inspection identifies any needed alterations to comply with accessibility standards, then it is presumed that the landlord is responsible for any such alterations unless landlord and tenant agree otherwise.
  • If the CASp report does not identify any needed alterations, the landlord must provide a copy of the disability access inspection certificate.
  • If the landlord has not had a CASp inspection performed, then the landlord must notify the tenant in the lease that an inspection has not been performed and that the tenant has the right to perform an inspection. The parties must agree on the arrangements for the time and manner of the inspection, payment of the fee, and the cost of making repairs. The specific language is set forth in the law.

It is of particular note that the new law does not require a CASp inspection. An inspection remains voluntary. However, landlords need to ensure that their California leases comply with the mandates of the new law.

©2017 von Briesen & Roper, s.c

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About this Author

Chris A. Jenny, Corporate, Construction, Estate, Attorney, von Briesen, law firm
Shareholder

Chris A. Jenny is a Shareholder in the Madison office of von Briesen & Roper, s.c. He focuses his practice on representing business owners in a wide variety of niche markets to become more profitable while minimizing their risk and expenses. Chris’s practice has a heavy concentration in the real estate, construction, and information technology industries. This practical experience is a tremendous benefit to the contractors, suppliers, landlords, tenants and real estate developers he represents. Chris’s construction...

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William West, Mergers Acquisitions Attorney, Von Briesen, corporate governance lawyer, business formation legal counsel, succession planning, commercial real estate law
Shareholder

Bill West is a Shareholder and serves as the Chair of the Firm’s Business Section, which is comprised of more than 30 attorneys practicing in the various core business specialty areas. Bill also chairs the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group.

Bill’s clients look to him as a trusted advisor and rely on his ability to achieve their desired outcome in a practical, timely and cost-effective manner. He has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in a wide spectrum of business and corporate transactions.

Bill represents a wide variety of clients in a diverse range of industries including manufacturing; construction material and supply; packaging; telecommunications; distribution and supply; technology and licensing and professional services.

His clients include public and privately held companies engaging in a wide variety of domestic and international transactions including stock and asset acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations, divestitures and restructurings.

Bill is also co-chair of the firm's Retail Real Estate section. He has a broad real estate practice and represents clients nationwide in the purchase and sale of commercial real estate. Bill has a national practice handling the retail real estate leasing needs of both tenants and landlords.

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