New ADA Regulations Real Estate Investors Need to Know


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The importance for real estate investors to keep up on the latest legislation is never more apparent than now. The newest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations went into effect on March 15, 2012. The new regulations affect every commercial building. Originally passed in 2010, it has slowly been phased in over the last few years. 2011 was the year for implementing the sections on anti-discriminatory hiring. 2012 is the year of accessibility standards for commercial buildings.

As of March 15, all buildings must comply with the 2010 accessibility standards. Any time improvements are made on a building, the structure must be modified to meet the new accessibility standards. This includes normal maintenance or replacement changes, like restriping parking lots, changing flooring, and moving walls. Even buildings constructed prior to 1991 are not exempted.

Major Changes to be Made

Some of the changes are pretty basic ones. There must be a three foot wide clearance or accessible route throughout the space. This includes between shelves and in office areas. All light switches and counters must adapt to the new height regulations.

Parking lots aren’t exempt from these changes. The new act requires 1 van accessible space per 6 required handicapped spaces. Parking lots would need to be changed to accommodate the 11′ wide parking space with a 5′ wide access aisle or the 8′ wide space with an 8′ wide access aisle.

ADA Compliance Tax Benefits

Section 190 of the IRS Code provides a tax deduction for businesses removing architectural barriers or alterations in existing facilities to comply with the new ADA regulations. For most companies, the maximum tax deduction is $15,000. For businesses with less than $1 million in revenue and fewer than 30 employees, all costs of compliance are deductible.

Commercial real estate investors need to maintain careful watch over their property compliance. New tenants and rental renewal contracts require new flooring every couple of years. The same applies to parking lot striping. Commercial real estate investors will have to make sure they set aside extra funds and carefully inspect their properties for compliance before they make minor routine renovations.

For more information on real estate investing, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a large assortment of real estate franchise and real estate investment opportunities available to grow your real estate business. Call or visit us today for more information.

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