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It's Time to Update Your Real Estate Forms (at Least in California)

If you are the owner of commercial real estate in the State of California then a recent change in California law will require you to update your lease forms. Effective July 1, 2013, all commercial leases must indicate in the lease whether or not the property has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

Section 1938 of the California Civil Code 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 CASp and if so whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction related accessibility standards. A CASp is a professional licensed by the State of California to assess a commercial property's compliance with federal and state disability related laws and regulations. The CASp is trained and certified to identify areas of non-compliance with accessibility standards and report those results to the property owner.

The new law does not include any specific penalty for failure to make the disclosure. It also does not require the owner to obtain the actual inspection. However, failure to comply with the law could create other practical issues for owners of California commercial real estate including the raising of the issue if the owner is involved in any Americans with Disabilities Act litigation. Failure to include the language could serve as evidence in any such litigation as to the owner's knowledge of access requirements or intent to comply with the applicable laws. This is especially critical in California given its reputation for being one of the most litigious ADA states in the country.

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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...

608-661-3973
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.

414-287-1375