The American with Disabilities Act requires commercial properties to be accessible to those with disabilities. Lawsuits are on the rise for commercial properties in violation of the ADA. Whether you’ve just bought a new commercial or retail property or need to renovate an existing one, here’s what you need to know about ADA compliance..
What is the ADA?
Americans with disabilities have rights thanks to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Beyond ensuring people with disabilities are not discriminated against, the law requires commercial properties to be more physically accessible to those with disabilities. The ADA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice. Lawsuits can be brought against a company by the Attorney General or private parties. Not only are lawsuits a headache, but they can cost the business money and create negative publicity further hurting the business.
What are the Property Regulations?
While the main focus of the ADA is against discrimination in various forms, there are several pieces of the legislation that affect commercial property owners. There are some exceptions, but generally, properties built or renovated after January 26, 1992 are affected. Some of the key features of the ADA that affect commercial properties include:
- Access for service animals wherever customers are allowed
- Remove structural barriers when possible
- Accommodations including wheelchair access ramps, wider doorways and retrofitting restrooms
What Changes Does Your Property Need?
If this is a current property you own, conduct your own examination or hire a firm experienced in ADA compliance to ensure the property meets the law’s requirements. If you plan on renovating a newly purchased or existing property, speak with the contractor to see what modifications need to be included in the redesign. An ADA experienced contractor should be current on the laws and regulations. If the property is leased, carefully go over the contract to make sure both parties understand their obligations to comply with the ADA. A certified access specialist may offer additional insights into the property and provide knowledgeable guidance on the ADA.
Working to improve the access for people with disabilities can make your tenants and customers more comfortable. Following the regulations also lowers your risk of a lawsuit due to failure to comply. Royal Oak Property Services can help your California commercial property be ADA compliant. We have the experience, expertise and staff to guide and handle the maintenance needs of your commercial property. Avoid a lawsuit by repairing or creating ADA compliant surfaces for your customers and tenants.
If your commercial property is in need of inspection or is ready to be retrofitted to meet ADA requirements, give us a call at: 310-872-5999