What Are My Rights if My Apartment is not ADA Compliant?

By: Fabian Zazueta

Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities – Foundation (AID.org) receives numerous requests for assistance on a daily basis.  One recurring question we get asks about ADA compliance for those living in apartment dwellings.

There is value in understanding the limits of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how these laws are impacted by other federal laws such as, The Landlord and Tenant Act, The Fair Housing Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Generally, residential apartments are not subject to ADA laws as they do not provide public accommodations. So, a party alleging ADA law violations will likely be unsuccessful in their cause of action against a residential apartment owner.

There are, however, other federal/state codes that provide guidance on the issue raised above. Without rendering legal advice to residents that may live in different states, an individual who believes he or she has been subject to discrimination because of their disability,  should contact a civil rights attorney in their home state, regarding Fair Housing Act violations. Below are links that provide a brief summary of some of the laws.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/FHLaws/yourrights

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/disabilities/sect504faq#anchor275219

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