ADA Compliance for Commercial Properties: Ensuring Accessibility for All


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The Need to Comply With ADA Regulations 

Explore the essentials of ADA Compliance for Commercial Properties with Perigon Legal Services. Learn how to ensure your commercial real estate meets ADA standards and avoid legal pitfalls.

Author: Stan Faulkner, Founder, Perigon Legal Services, LLC

Mr. Faulkner is an experienced counselor and litigator with 15 years of experience, having held bar licenses in four states (Mo, Il, Ct and Ga). Stan Faulkner uses this experience and focuses his skills in the pursuit of assisting individuals in probate (trust and estate) matters, guardianships and conservatorships, estate planning, business disputes and contract disputes. Published on May 06, 2024.

Ensuring that commercial properties are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is not just a legal requirement; it is a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for all. As proprietors or managers of commercial real estate, understanding and adhering to ADA guidelines is crucial for ethical and practical reasons. It impacts your property’s design, functionality, and the experience of those with disabilities. 

Our proficiency at Perigon Legal Services extends to aiding clients in understanding their obligations under the ADA, reinforcing our belief in a society where every individual, regardless of ability, has equal access. At our firm, we recognize the challenges that real estate owners face in navigating the complexities of ADA regulations. These laws ensure that both new constructions and existing commercial facilities accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities by removing architectural barriers and providing equal opportunities.

We are resolute in assisting you to not only achieve ADA compliance but also to enhance the value of your property through inclusive design. Our demonstrated acumen in real estate law is matched by our dedication to each client, ensuring that your commercial assets are legally compliant and socially responsible.

    Understanding ADA Compliance

    Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act has a profound impact on commercial property owners. This federal law mandates that all places of public accommodation, including commercial properties, be accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

    Key Requirements for Commercial Properties

    Commercial properties are required to have the following:

    • Designated accessible parking spaces
    • Barrier-free entrances
    • Unobstructed internal pathways

    It’s crucial for property and commercial building owners to understand that the retrofitting of older buildings may be required to meet standards. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design provide detailed guidelines on the necessary architectural modifications.

    Assessing Your Property’s ADA Compliance

    To determine whether your property meets ADA guidelines, conduct a thorough audit, possibly with the help of a qualified ADA consultant. Here are some tips to spot potential non-compliance issues:

    • Check the dimensions of parking lots.
    • Inspect entrances for step-free access.

    For property owners engaged in commercial real estate transactions, understanding ADA compliance is integral to ensure a smooth process.

    Strategies for Achieving ADA Compliance

    Maintaining ADA compliance is not a one-time task but requires ongoing attention, reasonable modifications, and updates. Ensure that your property undergoes regular reviews and modifications to adhere to ADA standards. Remember, accessibility improvements can also enhance the marketability and value of your property.

    Legal Implications of Non-Compliance

    The legal implications of non-compliance are significant, including the risk of litigation and penalties. If you’re looking into investing in commercial real estate, being ADA-compliant is often a prerequisite. At Perigon Legal Services, we are committed to providing detailed guidance and support to effectively manage your legal risks and maintain ADA compliance. 

    Our understanding of real estate law, coupled with our focus on client dedication, ensures that we address every aspect thoroughly as if your property were our own. Trust us to assist you in navigating the complexities of ADA compliance with skill and care.

    Financing ADA Compliance Upgrades

    Financing ADA compliance upgrades in commercial real estate can pose challenges, but with strategic planning and a comprehensive understanding of available financing options, property owners can effectively manage these costs. 

    Firstly, it’s crucial to assess the scope of the required upgrades. This will help you to outline a clear budget and identify the extent of financing needed. It may be useful to consult with a professional to ensure all ADA requirements are understood and met.

    Once the costs are estimated, consider these financing avenues:

    • Commercial loans: Securing a commercial loan tailored for real estate can provide the necessary funds for extensive ADA renovations. Our firm offers guidance on commercial real estate financing and loan structuring solutions to ensure that your loan structure aligns with your property’s needs and your financial strategy.
    • Grants and tax credits: Look into government grants designed for ADA compliance. Furthermore, the IRS offers tax credits for small businesses and deductions for all businesses that incur expenses for ADA compliance.

    We understand the importance of making your property accessible to all, and also the financial commitment it entails. Planning and exploring different funding sources for ADA compliance can bring strong value to your real estate while fulfilling your legal obligations. 

    Our team at Perigon Legal Services is here to navigate the financial intricacies with you, reinforcing our commitment to client success in every real estate endeavor.

    Tax Incentives and Credits

    Making your commercial property compliant with the ADA is not only a legal necessity but also a path to accessing valuable financial incentives. We would like to highlight how taking steps toward ADA compliance for commercial buildings can be financially advantageous for your business.

    • Eligibility for tax credits: Eligible small businesses can leverage the Disabled Access Credit, which covers 50% of expenditures over $250, not to exceed $10,250, for a maximum credit of $5,000. This credit is aimed at businesses with either $1 million or less in revenues or 30 or fewer full-time employees.
    • Deduction for barrier removal costs: For larger businesses, there’s also a deduction available under Section 190 of the Internal Revenue Code. Up to $15,000 annually can be deducted for qualified expenses incurred in the removal of physical barriers in existing buildings, facilities, or transportation vehicles.

    Expenses That Qualify for Deductions

    • Architectural adaptations
    • Equipment acquisitions
    • Services like sign language interpreters

    These carefully documented improvements can lead to a direct impact on your tax liability. By investing in compliance upgrades, you are also investing in a broader client base and demonstrating a commitment to accessibility that reflects positively on your sales, services, and company’s brand.

    Perigon Legal Services: Offering Professional Advise and Care for Your Commercial Properties 

    Embracing the nuances of ADA compliance can be a formidable endeavor, but you’re not alone in this process. Our team at Perigon Legal Services combines profound legal skills with an uncompromising ethic of care. 

    We work tirelessly to offer solutions and commercial real estate tax strategies that protect and prosper your commercial interests, all while fostering an environment of accessibility. Our commitment is to guide you through the intricacies of the ADA, aiding in the execution of adaptations that meet regulatory requirements and uphold the integrity of your business operations.

    For tailored strategies on how our services can benefit your specific situation, please do not hesitate to contact us. Trust in our ability to meticulously guide you through the complexities so you can continue providing an accessible and inclusive environment for all.

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