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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111657
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Good Morning, Im not sure if I am directing this question

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Good Morning, I'm not sure if I am directing this question to the right person, so forgive me if it should be asked of someone else. I live in Florida and am disabled under the Social Security Administration and Worker's Comp. The nature of my disability is mobility, I need to walk with a cane. I am currently looking for an apartment that is not government subsidized and when I ask for a ground floor I am told my rent will be anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 more than if I rented an apartment on the second or third floors. The complexes do not have elevators so I would have to use stairs. Needless to say this is dangerous for me and gives me no option but to pay the additional money for a ground floor unit. Since there is no alternative to reach higher floors, is this legal? Apartment complexes in my area are not plentiful and although I could rent a house, that also is not practical unless I hire someone to take care of the lawn. Thank you for your time, Cathy K.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, they cannot discriminate against you based on your disability. Refusing to provide you a reasonable accommodated unit for your disability or charging you more could possibly be a violation of the ADA, but it would only be so if you can prove they are not charging everyone who wants a ground unit more money. If as a standard price ground units are more than other units to everyone, then it is not discriminatory.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. While I do understand it, and yes all ground floor units come at an additional cost for everyone, my problem is this, able bodied people have the option of a ground, 2nd or third floor unit, therefore the option to pay more or less is theirs. While I on the other hand do not have that luxury and am forced to pay a higher rent. If the complex(s) had elevators in them then I believe that I would be on "even ground" so to speak as people without a disability and subsequently it would be my choice as to whether or not I wanted to pay more for a unit. And as stated above in your disclaimer, "Sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support."

Thank you for your response.

I understand your frustration. Even where a disabled person is entitled to have their apartment made handicapped accessible under the ADA, while the owner has to allow for the handicapped accessibility to be installed, it is at the cost of the tenant seeking the accommodation and not the owner. I mention this to show that while owners have to make accommodation for the disabled under the ADA, they do not have to bear the financial burden for doing so.

Thus, in your case, while you might have no choice in needing the ground apartment, the owner is not expected under the ADA to take a financial loss for that need.

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