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Responsibilities of a commercial tenant re ADA compliance

Making sure that all customers can access an Orange County brick and mortar location is often a priority for small business owners. This means making sure that the rental space is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If not, upgrades may need to be made in order to ensure that the building is up to code and that everyone may access the location. This brings up another question that a prospective commercial tenant may want to ask -- who is responsible for what when it comes to ADA compliance?

As a general rule, the property owner is responsible for the common areas and the tenant is responsible for the rental space. This often applies to ADA compliance as well. However, this could be a point of negotiation when discussing the provisions of a lease.

In older developments, upgrades or initial installations may need to be done in the whole building. Perhaps the property owner was waiting until each tenant left in order to do the work. Whatever the case, a prospective tenant may ask if the property owner will do the work prior to the move-in date. Perhaps the parties can divide the costs in some agreed upon manner.

The point is that making sure the space is ADA compliant needs to be a consideration when a prospective commercial tenant tours a property. This needs to be on the list of questions to ask at that time. It may be necessary to negotiate any repairs, upgrades or installations that may need to be done before the move-in date. When it comes to lease negotiations, it may be beneficial to consult with an Orange County commercial real estate attorney who not only knows the law, but also understands the rental market in the area.

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