Is your commercial property ADA-compliant?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Commercial Real Estate

As a landlord or tenant, your responsibilities go beyond just the day-to-day upkeep of your property. You must also ensure that your establishment is accessible to everyone in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). This means making modifications, if necessary, to keep your space inclusive, allowing people with different abilities and needs to get around safely without trouble.

Don’t wait for someone to complain

You don’t want to wait until someone points out a problem. Non-compliant businesses may receive hefty fines of up to $75,000 for every single violation. For new constructions, you’d have to consider accessibility from the very beginning and incorporate it into the design. For existing ones, it is possible that you’d need to make renovations only when readily achievable.

Although it can be a good place to start, accessibility involves more than putting up ramps. It encompasses applying structures and systems that allow individuals of all abilities to navigate with ease.

Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Entrances and doors: Can wheelchairs, crutches or other mobility equipment fit through?
  • Restrooms: Does the placement of the toilet seat adhere to specific ADA design standards?
  • Service counters: Are your counters at the appropriate height?
  • In-store direction: Are your signages readable for those with visual impairments?

The ADA Standards for Accessible Design outlines clear and specific rules that can help you do an accessibility audit of your property. Following them not only keeps you out of legal trouble but helps show you care about all your visitors.

Balancing compliance and practicality

While compliance is mandatory, the law also recognizes the financial burden renovations may pose for those with existing buildings. You are not expected to do anything that may put you in a tough spot financially or make your property unmarketable later on.

But it’s good to do what you can. If you’re not sure what steps to take or if someone has already complained, consider talking to a professional. They can help you figure out real estate solutions that may apply to your situation.

So, take a good look at your property. You might find that just a few key changes now could make a big difference in making all your visitors feel welcome.