While negotiating California commercial real estate purchase, sale or lease contracts, the number of critical issues to address may seem endless. Not the least of these issues is often whether or not the public or private commercial property in question meets the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. We understand the importance of ADA compliance for both allowing universal access to all and avoiding wasted time and money with unnecessary lawsuits.
Unfortunately, ADA discrimination litigation in California is widespread. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that California led the nation with more than 2,000 new ADA lawsuits filed from January through June 2019. The reasons for this surge may be widespread, but one theory suggests that California’s promise of damages to the accuser could make even the smallest incidences of non-compliance attractive targets. This susceptibility emphasizes the need for commercial property investors to address any potential issues early in the process to avoid problems in the future.
Among other considerations is the significant expense that could be involved with retrofitting buildings to meet the standards set by the ADA. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, one southern California business would have to pay $45,000 to bring a single bathroom into compliance.
Finding all of the potential accessibility issues that need correction and assessing the cost should be a problem during contract negotiation, and not one you’re rushing to address after the fact. Competent representation with experience in ADA compliance can help prevent you from being blindsided with a lawsuit after you’ve signed the dotted line. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.