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Jane Doe Deer
Jane Doe Deer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3896
Experience:  Attorney since 1986; Plain English explanations of Landlord/Tenant & Purchase/Sale
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I am an owner in a condominium with about 350 units. The condo

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I am an owner in a condominium with about 350 units. The condo was established about 20 years ago. I have raised questions at a Board meeting regarding changing the very steep grades on ramps from the elevators to the lobby. In addition, I know other handicapped owners have asked about access from the street to the garage - there's a step which hinders one of our owners who has a leg amputated -, access from the garage to the elevators - there's a small but steep ramp and access to the pool deck from the main lobby - there are several small steps which make the pool deck inaccessible to people in wheel chairs.

The situation has personal signifigance on 2 fronts 1) my mother resides here and has recently become disabled so must use a wheel chair until she has her hip replaced and 2) I have since announced my candidacy for the Board since I raised the handicapped access issue at a Board meeting 2 months ago.

I have had no response from the Board. Are condos governed by the American's with Disabilities Act on a State and/or Federal Level? What is the Board's responsibility to address this issue now that it has been raised publicly? What conflicts am I exposing myself to if I escalate this issue now that I am a candidate for the Board?

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you. I may have switched you out of "chat." If I did, it's because I have had technical problems chatting here. I hope that you don't mind!

 

 

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I will start with the basic question - what obligations do condos have to provide access to common areas to owners who become disabled? Are there federal or state laws that regulate this? I haven't found any answers online as a cursory investigation did not find answers to questions regarding condominiums.

Federal, and usually state law require accessibility to common areas.

 

Here are two things to try.

 

The most simple, that you can do today, is to contact your local building department and ask them to do an accessibility assessment. The building dept may require the COA to make changes that will make the common areas fully accessible. It may be possible to keep your name anonymous.

 

Another thing to do is to file a discrimination complaint.

 

You always have the right to file a complaint with both the state discrimination agency and the federal one, Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Commission (EEOC).

 

In Florida, you can contact the state agency here: http://fchr.state.fl.us/complaints__1

 

If you start with the state agency, in most states they'll file a complaint with HUD on your behalf at the same time.

 

The person who files the complaint should be someone in a wheelchair, or someone who has difficulty walking, and other wise is a person who needs the accessibility. Filing a discrimination complaint cannot be anonymous.

 

I have no idea how this will affect your run for the Board. Some people will probably think you're a hero; others will curse you because the association will have to put out a few bucks to make the physical changes.

 

 

I'll assume that I have answered your question and will "ACCEPT" my answer unless I hear back from you with follow-up questions.

 

Bonuses of even a few dollars are much appreciated.

 

I REALLY appreciate POSITIVE FEEDBACK!

 

My best,

 

Jane Doe Deer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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