There has been a rash of lawsuits concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act. In some of these suits, a person will go to a place of business and if there are any aspects of the business that do not fit the ADA's rules and regulations, the individual will bring a suit against the entity.
Many of these suits concern access. The businesses are alleged to not have the proper systems in place to accommodate disabled individuals. In many cases, the business will have to make substantial modifications to meet these requirements, and this can be extremely costly.
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill that is focused on helping businesses deal with these accessibility concerns. The bill states that a Certified Access Specialist will review businesses, and determine if they are compliant with access laws. A report will be completed regarding the inspection, and businesses will know if there are any issues that could potentially find them in violation of ADA or state disability provisions.
While this could help future tenants of businesses protect themselves against unforeseen litigation, it is something that tenants need to be concerned about when signing a lease. It is possible that in certain situations, landlords may try to exploit new tenants by requiring them to pay for any modifications that may be necessary to the property.
There is often language in the lease concerning repairs to property or common areas that need upkeep. You should be sure that you understand what your obligations would be if one of these lawsuits is filed against your business or landlord.
If you are considering entering into a commercial lease, you should consult an experienced attorney before discussing your concerns with your landlord. Your attorney will be able to review the lease and determine your rights and obligations under the document.
This is an important step that you must not neglect, especially if this is the first time that you are entering into a leasing arrangement. Your landlord has done many of these leases, and the document that has been created is solely focused on protecting the landlord's rights and interests. If you fail to make changes at this time, you could find yourself facing severe financial harm over time. Do not sign anything until you have someone explain the lease to you. You have to make sure that the language meets your specific requests.