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Does my building need handicapped access?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2020 | Business & Commercial Law

Buying a commercial building is never the cut-and-dry event that many people in Arizona may assume it is. In addition to the transfer of titles and utilities, the contracts and the zoning considerations, you need to consider whether your building is up to code and has all the necessary permits and accommodations. Whether you just purchased an apartment building, a grocery store or an office complex, you will need to know the requirements regarding access for your employees, tenants or customers.

According to FindLaw, those with limited mobility should have the right to enter establishments without too much difficulty. The Americans with Disabilities Act addresses this need, mandating that most facilities and businesses have reasonable access and accommodations for disabled members of the public or customers. Federal law prohibits disabled people from being excluded from everyday activities, including the right to work, go to school, conduct business, use public facilities or live in housing. You should understand that the rules regarding handicapped accommodations are less strict for buildings built before early 1993 or modified after early 1992.

Why is this, you may wonder? The cost can be prohibitive for many small business owners to make the significant changes needed to give disabled customers and residents access to buildings. Establishments that are not generally open to the public, such as manufacturing facilities and warehouses, are considered commercial facilities and may have less strict access standards according to the ADA.

The numerous moving parts associated with purchasing a building and ensuring you meet legal requirements can be complex.