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Opinion: Landlord and tenant responsibility for accessible route

Inquiry: 

97-28A

Subject: 

Landlord and tenant responsibility for accessible route

Code:

1994 UBC Appendix Section 1111.1.2

Submitted By:

Building Codes and Standards Division

Approved By:

Thomas R. Joachim, State Building Official

Issue Date: 

March 5, 1994 

Question:  

Does the alteration of a primary function area undertaken by the tenant, within the tenant space, trigger a requirement upon either the tenant or the landlord to upgrade the accessible route leading to and serving the area of primary function when those areas are located in common-use space? 

Answer:

No. The tenant is responsible for any accessible route issue within the leased space. Neither the tenant nor the landlord can reasonably be held responsible for the upgrade to the accessible route in the common-use areas of the facility.

Division comments:

It is apparent that the intent of the UBC in this section, although not specifically stated as such, is related to a similar requirement in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Therefore, the rationale for this interpretation can be found in the Americans with Disabilities Act section 36.403 which states in part, "...alterations by the tenant in areas that only the tenant occupies do not trigger a path of travel obligation upon the landlord...". Under the ADA the landlord has the obligation to upgrade common-use areas of the building when readily achievable.

Approved by Building Codes and Standards Access Committee February 20, 1997.

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