In September 2012, the California State Legislature enacted SB 1186 in an effort to cut back on opportunistic litigation and encourage compliance with disability access laws. The new law imposes additional notice, procedural and pleading requirements on attorneys asserting claims based upon construction-related accessibility laws. In addition, SB 1186 adds California Civil Code Section 1938, which requires the owner or lessor of a commercial property to state on every lease form or rental agreement (1) whether the property being leased or rented has undergone an inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (“CASp”), and (2) if so, whether the property has or has not been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards under California Civil Code Section 55.53. This new disclosure requirement must be included in all leases executed on or after July 1, 2013. While technical compliance with the disclosure requirement is relatively simple, building owners and lessors must be prepared to negotiate the issues raised by the disclosure itself or by a CASp inspection. Additionally, owners and lessors must review their portfolios and determine whether a voluntary CASp inspection would be appropriate based on a cost-benefit analysis for each building.
A “Must Do” for all Owners and Lessors: Update Your Lease Forms -
Starting on July 1, 2013, language similar to the following should be added to all commercial leases or rental agreements in California...
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