COACH's Pop Quiz!
Q: Your community was built in the 1980s. The leasing office is on the first floor, but there’s a step at the building entrance. Although it’s not covered under the FHA’s design and construction standards, your community could still face a disability discrimination complaint. True or false?
A: True. Take all necessary steps to ensure your leasing office is accessible to individuals with disabilities. It’ll be the first stop for “drive-by” testers, who don’t even have to get out of the car to observe accessibility violations, such as steps to an entrance or inadequate accessible parking at your leasing office. Although the FHA’s design and construction provisions apply only to multifamily communities built for first occupancy since March 1991, your community could still face a disability discrimination complaint. Because it’s open to the public, the leasing office is considered a “place of public accommodation,” so it may be subject to the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For more information, see the Coach’s November lesson, “Beware of ‘Drive-by Accessibility Testing,” available to our subscribers here.