If you own commercial real estate (CRE) in California, you know that it’s crucial to adhere to all federal and state accessibility laws. Whether you’re building or buying a property or renovating your current property, you need to ensure that it complies with accessibility standards. That’s where a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) comes in. The CASp program was created by a California law.
Architects, engineers and other construction professionals can provide knowledgeable guidance regarding what standards must be met for your property based on a number of factors unique to it.
However, an early CASp inspection prior to other inspections can lessen your chances of facing an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit and help you if you ever do.
How does the inspection help if you face litigation?
After your CASp inspection, you will receive “qualified defendant” status. That means if you face an ADA lawsuit, you get the benefits of:
- An early evaluation conference
- A court stay to postpone proceedings
- Lower fines (if assessed)
Of course, you’d rather avoid litigation. Here’s how a CASp inspection helps.
An inspection will detail violations and necessary changes
A CASp will issue an inspection report listing all violations and the specific changes needed to correct them. In addition to this report, you’ll receive a Disability Access Inspection Certificate. The certificate simply shows that you’ve had the inspection – not that no violations have been found or that they’ve been fixed. However, those people who make their money by filing multiple ADA lawsuits may be less likely to target you and your property for litigation if they know you’ve taken this extra, important step.
This is just a brief overview about how CASp inspections can help lessen the amount of money and other resources you need to spend on accessibility-related litigation. If you do find yourself facing this litigation, or if you have questions or concerns, it’s wise to have legal guidance.