AUTHOR: DANIEL H. CHO
In an effort to curb the high number of predatory ADA lawsuits being brought against property and small business owners in California, on September 19, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186 (“SB 1186”), a bipartisan bill sponsored by State Senators Bob Dutton and Darrell Steinberg. Among its many effects, SB 1186 significantly limits certain tactics often used by the attorneys behind these types of lawsuits, adds additional requirements aimed at deterring frivolous lawsuits brought under the guise of the ADA and implements certain lease disclosure requirements for commercial landlords. Some of the highlights of SB 1186 include:
A significant reduction in the minimum liability for properties in violation of construction-related accessibility standards
$1,000 for each offense if the owner has corrected all construction-related violations that are the basis of the claim within 60 days after being served with the complaint; and
$2,000 for each offense if the defendant is a small business and has corrected all construction-related violations that are the basis of the claim within 30 days after being served with the complaint.
In addition to the foregoing changes, one additional element of SB 1186 that is particularly relevant for commercial landlords is the requirement that commercial landlords disclose on their leases or rental agreements whether their buildings or properties have been inspected by a certified access specialist and, if so, whether such buildings or properties have been determined to be in compliance with applicable construction-related accessibility standards. This requirement would apply to leases or rental agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2013. It’s unclear, however, what penalties, if any, would apply if a landlord fails to make such disclosure.
If you have any questions regarding SB 1186 or would like to discuss how SB 1186 impacts your business, please contact our office.
Mr. Cho specializes in commercial real estate law, with an emphasis on leasing, purchase and sale transactions, financing and development. His practice involves the representation of major corporations, national and regional developers, small to mid-size companies and individuals in a broad range of real estate transactions and projects throughout the United States, including the acquisition and disposition of developed and undeveloped real property, office, retail, industrial and ground leasing, acquisition and construction financing, and the negotiation, preparation and review of easements, license agreements, CC&Rs, construction contracts, commercial agreements and other due diligence matters....