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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.

©2020 von Briesen & Roper, s.c


About this Author

Chris A. Jenny, von Briesen Roper Law Firm, Madison, Corporate, Real Estate and Family Estate Law Attorney

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...

William West, von Briesen Roper Law Firm, Milwaukee, Corporate and Real Estate Law Attorney

Bill West is a Shareholder. He Chairs the Firm’s Business Section and the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Section.

Bill is a trusted advisor to his clients and they rely on his ability to achieve desired outcomes in a practical, timely and cost-effective manner – in other words, he gets things done. He has over 30 years of experience in corporate and business related transactions including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Complex corporate and commercial transactions

  • Corporate governance and business counseling

  • Business formation, strategy and structure

  • Business succession planning

  • Commercial real estate

Bill’s clients are involved in a range of industries, and include public and privately held businesses engaged in a wide variety of domestic and international transactions including asset and equity acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations, divestitures and restructurings.

Bill is also co-chair of the firm’s Retail Real Estate section. He 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.

Bill is a member of the American Bar Association (member of the Business Law, Real Estate and Taxation sections), and the State Bar of Wisconsin. He is also a co-author of LLCs and LLPs: A Wisconsin Handbook, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Bill is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as “Lawyer of the Year” for Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law in Milwaukee (2017). He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) (2015-2018) as well as Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law (2014-2018).

Bill served as Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Memorial High School.