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California Ends ADA Inspection Disclosure Requirement

Tuesday, October 24, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin King
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California Ends ADA Inspection Disclosure Requirement    

The California legislature has passed and the Governor has signed AB 1148.  The bill amends California Civil Code section 1938 that requires commercial landlords to make extensive lease or rental agreement disclosures on whether their property had or had not been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist.  The law was created with designed to facilitate the rental of traditional commercial properties such as retail and offices where the landlord and the tenant have an overlapping obligation on handicapped individual access to the property.  The law created an impractical disclosure nightmare for the state’s self storage operators.   AB 1148 added just a single sentence to Civil Code section 1938:


(f) As used in this section, “commercial property” means property that is offered for rent or lease to persons operating, or intending to operate, a place of public accommodation as defined in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, Part 2, Chapter 2, Section 202, or a facility to which the general public is invited, at those premises.

This new definition of commercial property excludes self storage facilities from the code section in two ways.   First, self storage is not “a place of public accommodation” as that term is defined in the California Code of Regulation.   Self storage is not on the extensive list of occupancies that are defined as “a place of public accommodation”.  This sentence also requires that the occupancy be a facility to which the general public is invited.  While the public is invited to rent and use self storage facilities, the general public is not invited to use the individual rented spaces.  Only the tenant may use the space and the space may only be used for the storage of the tenant’s personal property. 

While the law no longer requires self storage operators to include the rental agreement disclosures otherwise required by Civil Code section 1938, it does not relieve self storage operators from full compliance with both the Americans with Disabilities Act and California handicapped access laws and regulations.  Storage operators must also be careful to limit their tenants’ activities to storage of personal.  A tenant who runs a business out of a storage unit may have a space open to the general public.  

Storage operators whose facilities include office, retail or any premises that is open to the public must continue to include the statutory inspection disclosure language in the lease of those premises.  For example, an operator who has office and storage combination rentals is required to include the statutory handicapped access inspection language in the rental agreement.  This would include a tenant running a flea market or repair shop in a space.  If a storage operator sees non-tenants going to and from a space, a conversation with the tenant about exactly how a self storage space may be used is in order.  The storage space may only be used by the tenant solely for storage purposes.