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New tenants' rights laws take effect January 1

Commercial tenants' rights made a significant leap forward recently, as California passed revisions to laws governing disability access to commercial property. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, landlords in the Golden State will have greater responsibilities to their tenants and tenants' clients, expanded from already robust disability access regulations.

As it stands, the law requires that any commercial landlord must disclose whether or not the property in question has been subjected to an inspection by a Certified Access Specialist, and whether or not the property met the standards of the inspection.

The new expansions to the law require that a landlord provide a copy of the CASp report to the prospective tenant, with the understanding of confidentiality as to its contents. If proper disclosures are not made within 48 hours of a lease signing, the tenant retains the right to withdraw from the agreement for 72 hours following the signing.

Assuming that the property in question has met the CASp's standards, the landlord must also provide the prospective tenant with a copy of the certification of compliance from the CASp.

Also, the law assumes that the responsibility for complying with the access regulations rests with the landlord unless otherwise stated in the lease. If modifications must be made to a property, the landlord must either make the modifications, or negotiate the tenant's responsibility for the modifications into the lease.

Entering into a commercial lease is a complex endeavor that can have great implications for many years. If you are considering signing a commercial lease, enlisting the help of an attorney with experience in commercial real estate can help ensure that you are getting exactly the deal you want.

Source: Lexology, "New California Law Regarding Disclosure Of Disability Access Compliance In Commercial Real Property Leases," Kevin M. Corbett and David Kanel, Nov. 14, 2016

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