BOMA | Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco
Advocate: An Update on Legislative, Regulatory, and Political Issues Affecting Commercial Real Estate
January 25, 2013
Volume 19, Issue 1
City Hall News
UPDATE: Disability Access (ADA) Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations

Effective January 1, 2013, commercial property landlords have the obligation of making disability access improvements and providing required notifications when entering into or amending a lease of a property up to 5,000 square feet of space. Effective June 1, 2013, the requirement is expanded to properties up to 7,500 square feet of space.

The landlord can fulfill the access improvement obligation by:

  • Making existing public restroom, ground floor entrances and ground floor exits accessible by removing all architectural barriers to disability access, to the extent the improvements are required by and 'readily achievable' within the meaning of any applicable provisions of Title 28, Section 36.304 and 36.305, of the Code of Federal Regulations; 
  • OR providing a written notice to any prospective tenant that the property may not meet all applicable construction-related accessible standards. 

In either case, before entering into or amending a commercial lease, the landlord is also required to provide a written Disability Access Obligations Notice, which has established language the landlord must use. In addition, the landlord must provide an Accessible Information Notice obtained through the Office of Small Business.

Click here for full details of the new law.


At the head of the table (L to R): Regina Dick-Endrizzi and David Chiu 

UPDATE - February 15, 2012

Supervisor David Chiu agreed to meet with BOMA San Francisco leaders and members of the San Francisco Business Community recently to discuss his Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations legislation.  Also attending to provide her perspective was Regina Dick-Endrizzi, Executive Director of the San Francisco Office of Small Business.

It was a fruitful discussion and one that helped all stakeholders understand the intent of the legislation and possible amendments that would make it more effective.

BOMA San Francisco members suggested that the legislation be amended to, at a minimum and among other issues discussed, reflect the following:

  • Education 
    • Commercial property owners would provide an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disclosure to tenants/potential tenants to help educate them on the requirements of the ADA.
  • Compliance 
    • Allow a commercial property owner/tenant the time to correct ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) to ADA specific requirements in a tenant space within a reasonable time frame.  That is, set a due date for absolute compliance sometime in the future (e.g., 5-10 years) with a requirement to update the ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) before the due date if new tenant occupies the space.
  • Lease Negotiation Process
    • Commercial property owners need to have the ability to negotiate the costs associated with any tenant improvement with the tenant.  This includes any costs associated with ADA compliance for ground floor tenant space entrance(s) and exit(s).

More information to follow in a future blog post - stay tuned!


Original Post - January 20, 2012

Please take a moment to review an ordinance recently submitted by Supervisor David Chiu - Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations.  BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members and Advocacy team have been meeting with the Supervisor and his staff to understand its potential impact on the aggregate commercial real estate industry.  We'd like to thank Supervisor Chiu for his early outreach to BOMA San Francisco to enlist our feedback.

The Disability Access legislation would mandate commercial property owners make their first floor entrances handicap accessible before they could lease/release their, usually, first-floor retail spaces to tenants. It places the burden of non-compliant entrances squarely on the landlord. If signed into law, this ordinance will have a particularly large impact on small commercial property owners in San Francisco.

This is where your assistance is needed.  Please review the ordinance by clicking here and the legislative digest, here.  Please send your feedback to Ken Cleaveland at and John Bozeman at

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In This Issue
BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Workshop - January 28, 2013
•  Watch the new EARTH Award preview video!
•  BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Ė Whatís New for 2013?
City Hall News
•  We Need Your Feedback - Planning Code Amendments for Bicycle Parking
•  UPDATE: Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Law
•  UPDATE: San Francisco Mobile Food Facilities Permits
•  UPDATE: Disability Access (ADA) Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations
•  UPDATE: New Signage Requirements for Privately Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS)
•  SFMTA Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee
•  UPDATE: CAPSS - Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety Meeting
BOMA San Francisco News
•  San Francisco HOPE Director Bevan Dufty Speaks to BOMA San Francisco Members
BOMA California News
•  BOMA California Legislative Issues
BOMA International News
•  BOMA International Advocacy Update
Energy and Environment News
•  FREE Energy Efficiency Training for Manufacturing Facilities and Commercial Buildings
•  Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit
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•  Energy and Environment Committee Meeting
February 5, 2013
Ferry Building, Port Commission Hearing Room
Please click here for more information.
•  GAPAC Meeting
February 6, 2013
BOMA San Francisco Office - 233 Sansome Street, 8th Floor
Please click here for more information.
Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting
February 12, 2013
Post Montgomery Center Tower, 30th Floor
Please click here for more information.
•  Codes and Regulations Committee Meeting
February 27, 2013
201 California Street, 2nd Floor
Please click here for more information.
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