Cadden & Fuller LLP
A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Is your commercial business space ADA compliant?

Owning a commercial business space often requires you to meet a long list of legal criteria with the possibility of litigation should you not follow through. As a landlord, you understand how important it is to keep tenants and their clients safe. If you have not checked recently, do you know if your commercial space is ADA compliant?

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires physical accommodations for those with disabilities have the same access as able-bodied clientele. While many property owners assume that their tenants are responsible to ensure compliance, it is actually the landlord who must make the accommodations.

Existing buildings

The ADA requires landlords of existing buildings to get rid of “communication barriers” or “architectural barriers.” This may mean installing ramps for entries and exits, updating bathrooms to fit clients or employees in wheelchairs, or rearranging a business’s layout for maximum accessibility.

Newly constructed buildings

Most commercial buildings constructed after the 1990 passage of the ADA should already meet compliance requirements, but any update or remodel must also offer the same accommodations as new construction. This may require landlords to reconsider how an alteration to the building could impact the “path of travel” for all visitors.

Ensuring tenants are compliant

While commercial landlords must provide ADA accessibility for their buildings, they should also ensure that their tenants are compliant. As such, it is important for landlords to have a contract in place outlining that the tenants comply with all ADA requirements to avoid liability.

Ensuring that your commercial real estate meets ADA accessibility requirements should be an ongoing process. It may require working with your tenants to keep their customers safe and able to utilize your space to avoid disputes.