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I live in a private Condo w 84 units. the building dates…

Customer Question
Hi, I live in...

Hi, I live in a private Condo w 84 units. the building dates back to the 1970S

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

The Board is seriously considering a $2, million plus renovation/remodellation of the lobby and adjoining areas. But they are not doing anything to help handicapped persons. Now handicaps have to use the service entrance ? I do not find it fair, we are talking of a super large amount of money. Your advise would be greatly appreciated.

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

Property in Mid Miami Beach. For the moment they are still deciding on some small issues BUT when I asked the manager of the building that I did not see any proper entrance for handicapped people, he, the Board and whoever sent the question to the legal advisor of the Condo. He sent a long letter stating that the ADA has nothing to do with this project???

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, thanks. I do believe that when a condo spends 2-3 million dollars in renovation there should be some requirement as to provide decent access to all through the main entrance , and not thru the service entrance.

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Legal
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9/28/2017
Lawyer: Attorney2, Attorney replied 10 months ago
Attorney2
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Welcome to JA and thank you for your question. I will be the Attorney that will be assisting you.

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Lawyer: Attorney2, Attorney replied 10 months ago

This is a fair housing issue as those with a handicap are not provided with reasonable ingress and egress. This is discriminatory. Has anyone filed a fair housing complaint?

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Lawyer: Attorney2, Attorney replied 10 months ago

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Lawyer: Attorney2, Attorney replied 10 months ago

This is not an ADA issue. It is a fair housing issue.

Fair Housing Rights

"Disability Rights in Private and Public Housing: Regardless of whether you live in private or public housing, Federal laws provide the following rights to persons with disabilities:

  • Prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. It is unlawful for a housing provider to refuse to rent or sell to a person simply because of a disability. A housing provider may not impose different application or qualification criteria, rental fees or sales prices, and rental or sales terms or conditions than those required of or provided to persons who are not disabled.

    Example: A housing provider may not refuse to rent to an otherwise qualified individual with a mental disability because s/he is uncomfortable with the individual's disability. Such an act would violate the Fair Housing Act because it denies a person housing solely on the basis of their disability.
  • Requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with a disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space. A housing provider should do everything s/he can to assist, but s/he is not required to make changes that would fundamentally alter the program or create an undue financial and administrative burden. Reasonable accommodations may be necessary at all stages of the housing process, including application, tenancy, or to prevent eviction.

    Example: A housing provider would make a reasonable accommodation for a tenant with mobility impairment by fulfilling the tenant's request for a reserved parking space in front of the entrance to their unit, even though all parking is unreserved.
  • Requires housing providers to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications. A reasonable modification is a structural modification that is made to allow persons with disabilities the full enjoyment of the housing and related facilities.

    Examples of a reasonable modification would include allowing a person with a disability to: install a ramp into a building, lower the entry threshold of a unit, or install grab bars in a bathroom. Learn More About Reasonable Accomodations

    Reasonable modifications are usually made at the resident's expense. However, there are resources available for helping fund building modifications. Additionally, if you live in Federally assisted housing the housing provider may be required to pay for the modification if it does not amount to an undue financial and administrative burden. For more information, see the Reasonable Accommodations section of the Section 504 Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Requires that new covered multifamily housing be designed and constructed to be accessible. In covered multifamily housing consisting of 4 or more units with an elevator built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, all units must comply with the following seven design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act:
    • Accessible Entrance on an Accessible Route
    • Accessible Public and Common-Use Areas
    • Usable Doors
    • Accessible Route Into and Through the Dwelling Unit
    • Accessible Light Switches, Electrical Outlets, Thermostats, and Environmental Controls
    • Reinforced Walls in Bathrooms
    • Usable Kitchens and Bathrooms

In covered multifamily housing without an elevator that consists of 4 or more units built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, all ground floor units must comply with the Fair Housing Act seven design and construction requirements.

For information on how to comply with the physical accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act, visit the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Web site.

These requirements apply to most public and private housing. However, there are limited exemptions for owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

If you live in Federally assisted multifamily housing consisting of 5 or more units, 5 percent of these units (or at least one unit whichever is greater) must meet more stringent physical accessibility requirements. Additionally, 2 percent of units (or at least one unit whichever is greater) must be accessible for persons with visual or hearing disabilities. For more information,visit Section 504 Questions and Answers.

People with Disabilities in Federally Assisted Housing: Federal law makes it illegal for an otherwise qualified individual with a disability to be excluded, solely because of his or her disability, from programs receiving federal financial assistance. For more information on the rights of persons with disabilities in federally assisted housing as well as the responsibilities of housing providers who receive federal financial assistance, visit our Section 504: Disability Rights in HUD Programs site.

Zoning and Land Use: It is unlawful for local governments to utilize land use and zoning policies to keep persons with disabilities from locating to their area. For more information, see the Joint Statement of DOJ and HUD on Group Homes, Local Land Use, and the Fair Housing Act.

State and Local Laws: Many states and localities have fair housing laws that are substantially equivalent to the Federal Fair Housing Act. Some of these laws prohibit discrimination on additional bases, such as source of income or marital status. Some of these laws may impose more stringent design and construction standards for new multifamily housing.

The Americans with Disabilities Act: In most cases, the ADA does not apply to residential housing. Rather, the ADA applies to places of public accommodation such as restaurants, retail stores, libraries, and hospitals as well as commercial facilities such as offices buildings, warehouses, and factories. However, Title III of the ADA covers public and common use areas at housing developments when these public areas are, by their nature, open to the general public. For example, it covers the rental office since the rental office is open to the general public.

Title II of the ADA applies to all programs, services, and activities provided or made available by public entities. This includes housing when the housing is provided or made available by a public entity. For example, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes public housing authorities that meet the ADA definition of "public entity," and housing operated by States or units of local government, such as housing on a State university campus.."

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/disabilities/inhousing

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Lawyer: Attorney2, Attorney replied 10 months ago

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work from the site I would appreciate it. A positive rating will not impact your ability to obtain a refund.

You may not be familiar with how the site works. The Attorneys to not receive credit from the site for their time or with customers unless the customer provides a positive rating. We answer your questions in good faith, hoping for a good faith response regardless of whether the law is in your favor or not. If you were unhappy with my service please let me know that you would prefer to work with another Attorney and I will opt out.

Thank you for your consideration.

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