Whether it is fun on the beach, sightseeing in a big city or an off-the-grid escape, a good vacation can be rejuvenating. If you own an Air BnB type of business, you want to give your guests the best relaxation experience ever. After all, those positive reviews can earn you more points and keep you ahead of the competition – and this is good for business.
Your Air BnB business may or may not be held to be under or regulated by the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). Private homes are generally not under the ADA, nor is Apartment Building (except for for an area within an apartment complex that might be considered a sales or rental office, or on-site managers office if the person provides rental services and rental applications). However, the more your BnB business looks like a hotel, Inn, serving the public, the more likely some courts might hold your business under the ADA with similar requirement that a hotel, Inn, or bed and breakfast may have. You hsould obtain legal advise to see what standards may or may not apply. So if you were to be held to a similar standard that a bed and breakfast, how do you ensure that your facility can accommodate guests with mobility challenges? Put in another way, how do you make your Air BnB ADA-compliant? To answer this question, it helps to start off by understanding the basics of ADA compliance.
So what is ADA compliance?
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines design requirements for hotels and other lodging establishments to protect persons with disabilities. Here are two steps you can take to ensure that your Air BnB complies with ADA regulations:
Doorway entrance design
A doorway entrance is crucial because…well… it is the only way your guests will access the facility. When the doorway is not disability-friendly, there is a pretty good chance your guest’s experience will be compromised. ADA regulations state that the doorway should be at least 32 inches wide. Some of the things you can do to make the doorway disability-friendly include:
- Installing a ramp at the doorstep
- Lowering the peephole
- Removing any dips or divots that make entry difficult for disabled guests
Within the Air BnB, be sure to identify the best spots for at least one bedroom and at least one bathroom. You can achieve this by clearing anything that can cause obstruction. Remember, the less cluttered the floor is, the easier it will be for your disabled guests to move around. Here are a few recommendations you might consider for your bathroom:
- Non-slip floors
- Roll-under sinks
- Easy-to-access outlets
- Easy transfer toilets
- Walk-in tubs or roll in showers or similar type of faculties
- Various other requirement that are very technical an ADA inspector (sometimes called a CASp inspector) can provide the details
Setting up an Air BnB business requires a considerable amount of planning. Failing to meet legal requirements like disability compliance can lead to problems.
Your website should describe the accessible features that you do have, and do not have, both inside and outside so a person with a disability can make a decision before they make a reservation if your property is appropriate for them. Be sure to provide this same information to third party booking sights, such as Expedia and Travelocity.