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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 116809
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I live in a condominium complex (26 buildings, approximately

Customer Question

Good Morning:
I live in a condominium complex (26 buildings, approximately 220 units) with an on-site management office. Have lived here for over 3 1/2 years.
Two issues:
1. My Mother also lived with me (she passed in May 2016 at the age of 93). Her health starting failing - I requested a Handicap Parking Spot (had Handicap Placard) because of my Mother's use of wheelchair and/or walker. Was told that 'we don't do that here' and that I should 'ask a neighbor if they would switch parking spots with me'. Is a condo complex exempt from ADA & HUD's Equal Housing Opportunity regulations?
Also, in August 2015, I asked for a railing for the 2 steps that lead into my condo. Condo Association did install one; however, they charged me $350 for the railing and installation. Are they allowed to charge me for the railing?
Not a single building, condo or facility (pool, barbeque area, etc.) in this complex has any ramps, etc. so that they can be easily accessed. Isn't this a violation of the HUD Equal Housing Opportunity?
2. I did purchase a second condo in December 2015 - put in offer on June 3, 2015 and settlement was December 28, 2015. I was renovating it so that I could sell my current condo (on 1st floor) and move into it. Started extensive renovations (approx. $18K spent).
In March 2016, I had 2 heart attacks (heart now functioning at 42%), my Mother passed away in May 2016. I knew that I would not be able to move up to the second floor condo because of my heart condition so in mid-May I put the condo up for sale - listed $2K below my realtor's suggested price. Three weeks later, lowered my price by $8K. Interest and offers until prospective buyers read the Association's rule that 'you must live in the condo as your primary residence for at least 1 year before you can rent it out.' I petitioned the Association for a waiver of this rule so that I could sell the unit and was denied because my request 'violates the rules and they can't give exceptions.' (NOTE: Numerous exceptions, blind-eye, etc. were pointed out to them in my request for a waiver. Examples: No Dogs Allowed; however, numerous dogs live in and are walked through complex daily.
Since I cannot move into the second floor condo due to health issues (I do have Handicap License Plates & Handicap Placard because of my medical issues), and the Condo's 1-year rule is definitely a factor drastically hindering my ability to sell, do I have any recourse?
Thanking you, in advance, for your responses.
Mary T Deery
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
1) Had you filed a complaint against them with the Office of Housing and Urban Development for not providing a handicapped spot in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, you would have had a valid legal claim. Now she is deceased, it is too late to file that claim because of her. HOWEVER, if you require the handicapped parking, the complex's refusal to provide you handicapped parking is a violation of the ADA and as such, you need to file a complaint with the local HUD office and also you could sue for them violating your right to access with handicapped parking and seek money damages from them for refusing you a handicapped space as required.
Under the ADA a building must make accessibility accommodations for disabled residents, but the building owner/association can indeed charge the handicapped tenant the cost for those accommodations.
2) This is the problem with living in any type of residence association, everyone there is bound to follow the rules and the association does not have to grant exceptions if they choose not to do so I am sorry to say. If you have an association board that is unwilling to grant waivers for this reason you have, I am afraid that legally they have a right to enforce the association bylaws and rules and that is why we tell many customers considering buying in any association area to reconsider it because they can be stuck by unreasonable rules.