New Single-User Restroom Law – Is Lessee Responsible To Comply?

Effective March 1, 2017, California businesses with a single-user restroom must identify such restrooms with signage as “all-gender” restrooms.  Under the AIR lease, is it Lessee’s responsibility to comply with this new law, and is Lessee responsible for the cost to comply?

Yes, according to many Lessors.  Lessors are contending that, pursuant to Paragraph 6.3 of the AIR Lease, it is Lessees’ responsibility to comply and Lessees are responsible for the cost.  An excerpt of Paragraph 6.3 is below.  Please note that the term “Applicable Requirements” below includes applicable law (such as this new California law).

Lessees may not be aware of this new law.  Therefore, Lessors may wish to: (1) notify Lessees of the new law and enclose a copy of the law (Cal. Health & Safety Code section 118600); (2) advise Lessees of the 10 day compliance period in Paragraph 6.3; (3) advise Lessees that local officials have a right to inspect the Premises for compliance with the law; and (4) advise Lessees where they can purchase the signs.  Lessors may also wish to have Lessees verify that they have complied.

This law applies to any restroom in California: (1) “in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency;” (2) “with no more than one water closet and one urinal;” and (3) “with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”  Cal. Health & Safety Code Section 118600.

Please post your comments or questions below.

By | 2018-02-19T15:21:56+00:00 February 23rd, 2017|Leasing|2 Comments


  1. Anonymous February 24, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Thank you for keeping us up to date.

    Two questions please,
    Restaurants have designed some single user restrooms with different design sensibilities for men and women.
    How will men and women now know which restroom may have a urinal installed for example ?

    How do new Trump Administration guidelines about transgender restroom use affect these regulations?

  2. Usman Mohammed February 24, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Thank you for the questions.

    Regarding the first question, the signage is required to indicate that it is an “all-gender” restroom. It can also indicate that it has a urinal (as far as I know, there is no prohibition on such signage). Although I don’t know if such signage is commercially available.

    On the second question, the Trump Administration’s action earlier this week does NOT impact this California law. The Obama Administration directed schools and colleges that receive federal funding to let transgender students use facilities that correspond with their gender identity. The Trump Administration withdrew this guidance. The law discussed in this article remains applicable in California.

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