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What do landlords need to know about the ADA?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2023 | ADA |

Many people think about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a law that applies only to businesses that maintain retail space and need to be accessible to individuals who have physical impairments.

However, it’s important for landlords to remember that they also may have to abide by certain stipulations of the ADA. There are rights that their tenants have, and landlords need to be aware of what this means for a rental space. They may not think of it as a traditional business, but they still have to take certain precautions to remain compliant with the law.

Reasonable accommodations

One of the most important things for landlords to know is that they do need to make reasonable accommodations to the space. This may be done at their own expense, rather than the tenant’s. They have to bring that space up to code under the ADA. For example, maybe an apartment complex has parking spaces for the tenants, but the owner never built a handicapped-accessible parking spot. The owner of the apartment complex may be required to add that spot if it’s necessary for someone to rent one of those apartments.

Tenant modifications

Additionally, tenants themselves may have unique ways that they need to modify a space. These changes do need to be reasonable, but the landlord can’t prohibit them. Some landlords are tempted to do so since they are technically the owners of that space, but the person living there still has a right to modify it so that it’s useful for them.

Standing against discrimination

Finally, landlords are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of disability. They can’t ask discriminatory questions when interviewing a potential tenant. They can’t use that disability as grounds to deny the person the living space.

How can an ADA-certified access specialist help a landlord?

As you can see, it is certainly important for landlords to understand how the ADA is going to impact them. It can be helpful to have an experienced team to help guide the way during this process. This way, critical details will not be overlooked.