News: Americans with Disabilities Act

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Thanks to a bill signed into law this week, mom-and-pop rental property owners won’t have to worry quite as much about abusive disability-access lawsuits. Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed SB 269 by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside. Under certain circumstances, the bill provides business owners with more time to fix minor ADA compliance violations before being subject to costly court battles. For example, the law will protect small-business owners from liability for minimum statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim for the 120 days following a voluntary inspection by a certified access specialist. Under certain conditions, the business could then… Read More

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A Southern California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would help deter frivolous disability-access lawsuits against landlords and other business owners. SB 1142 by Sen. John R-Moorlach, Costa Mesa, would provide property owners and businesses a “right to cure” within 120 days of any Americans with Disabilities Act violation without penalty or threat of lawsuit. The bill would stipulate that a defendant is not liable for statutory damages, costs, or plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees if the violation is corrected within 120 days of service of a demand letter. California law provides that a plaintiff is entitled to a minimum of $4,000 per… Read More

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  California lawmakers continue to pursue ways to stop abusive disability-access lawsuits that persist against small-business and building owners, while ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to those buildings. “This is the first time that the Legislature as a whole is really recognizing that abusive ADA lawsuits exist, and that there are lawsuits that are more about money than justice,” said Kim Stone, president of the Civil Justice Association of California, in this Modesto Bee article. Two lawmakers in particular are making headway: Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, and Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside. Roth’s bill, SB 269, would protect a… Read More

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As an owner of rental property with a swimming pool, you may have read  about the new federal regulations that apply to pool wheelchair lifts in swimming pools.  Chances are, however, that the new  requirements don’t apply to your property. Still, confusion has abounded among rental housing owners and managers since the U.S. Department of Justice released its Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. Unlike prior versions of the standards, last year’s release contains provisions relating to swimming pools and wheelchair lifts. For existing residential rental housing, these standards apply to new construction or major remodeling. So if… Read More

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It’s no surprise that some property owners don’t allow pets in their apartments. Who wants the noise, the carpet stains and the doggie doo-doo on prospective tenants’ shoes? Legally, however, one person’s pet may be another person’s companion.  In this type of situation, fair housing laws require owners to make exceptions. Don’t let ignorance bite you at the bank. Take part in the California Apartment Association Oct. 10 webinar “When Is a Pet Not a Pet: Complying with the ADA and Fair Housing Laws.” This class will help CAA members understand state and federal laws requiring property owners to make… Read More

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