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Will my building be grandfathered in when codes change?

There are always new advancements in safety and technology. As the times change, often there are changes to building codes.

You want your tenants to be safe, but often changes in the building code mean expensive updates. It is especially frustrating when your building is well-maintained and in good repair. Grandfather clauses in the building code could give you more time before making changes.

Before worrying about expensive renovations, consider these typical times when your building may fall under a grandfather clause exemption.

What types of code changes tend to have grandfather clauses?

Some of the most critical code changes have been for accommodating people with disabilities. While you may not need to make immediate changes to your building to adapt to new expectations, there will be times that change your status under a grandfather clause.

There are other parts of the building code that change over the years to adapt to new technology or in response to tragedies. Often, however, you can avoid making changes until you intend to make a related renovation. For example, you may not need to update your breaker box until you are making other electrical changes to your property.

Will there be a deadline for eventually updating?

When it comes to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, typically, there are deadlines. Your most significant risk, however, is facing a lawsuit by someone unaware that your building falls under a different standard for compliance. Even if your building is compliant, you may still have the hassle of dealing with the complaint.

When it comes to other changes, even when there is no deadline for compliance, it is better to plan to implement the change as soon as you can. Your building will be safer and easier to sell in the future if you can prioritize code compliance.

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Dapeer Rosenblit Litvak LLP (DRL) in West Los Angeles represents municipal and public agencies, business and corporate entities as well as private individuals throughout California and nationally.