Tenant Space and ADA Compliance

It is imperative to address the tenant space and ADA compliance prior to signing a lease agreement. Both the landlord and the tenant have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to ADA compliance. In most cases, neither the landlord nor the tenant will be able to legally state that they are relieved from their duty to provide access for the disabled. This is due in part because the standard language in most common commercial leases is not sufficient to transfer obligation for making changes and providing services.

TENANT: Won’t the landlord be responsible for ADA compliance?

1

Duty to provide access: Both the landlord and the tenant have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to ADA compliance. In most cases, neither the landlord nor the tenant will be able to legally state that they are relieved from their duty to provide access for the disabled.

 

2

 

Build out: If the tenant is responsible for the build-out, some leases may include a clause that the tenant is responsible for having an ADA inspection completed to ensure that all the interior space such as counter heights, doors, accessible routes, and restrooms are in compliance.

3
Improvements: If the landlord is making improvements, warrant that the improvements will be paid for by the landlord and will fully comply with pertinent ADA requirements. Make certain the cost of bringing common areas (elevators, stairways, doors) into compliance is not passed along to the tenant as part of operating costs.


tenant space and ADA image of mobility disability customers at compliant counter.

Service counters at an accessible height for providing excellent customer service.

The landlord has no “grandfather” exemptions for the property’s ADA compliance. Likewise, a tenant cannot deem the property “grandfathered” and fail to provide accessible services and aids.

There may be a lease clause that states the tenant is responsible for having an ADA inspection completed to ensure that all the interior space such as counter heights, doors, accessible routes, and restrooms are in compliance.