All commercial property lease and rental agreements in California that are executed on July 1, 2013 or later, must disclose whether a Certified Access Specialist has inspected the property.
This new disclosure is required under Civil Code Section 1938. If such an inspection has occurred, the lease or rental agreement must also disclose whether the property was determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards under Civil Code Section 55.53.
The role of the Certified Access Specialist under Civil Code Section 55.53 includes, among other things, providing a signed and written statement to the property owner as to whether the property meets construction-related accessibility standards, and if it does not, identifying and describing structures or areas that need correction and the correction needed.
Statements from Certified Access Specialists can serve as evidence of compliance by property owners with accessibility laws and, as such may help to limit or defeat construction related accessibility claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act and other laws.
Upon completion of each inspection, a Certified Access Specialist is also required to provide a state-approved Notice to the building owner or tenant who requested such, advising them, among other things, (a) to keep the inspection report and other documentation in their records, (b) about their right to use such in requesting a stay or early evaluation conference in connection with any lawsuit regarding the inspected site, and (c) about their right to request a disability access inspection certificate. The form of the notice is set out in Cal. Civil Code, Section 55.53(c) and on the website of the State Architect.
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