Landlord "responsibilities" for ADA

5 Replies

There was a local news story yesterday about a gentleman who was put into a wheelchair by cancer, and his mean landlord wouldn't build him a wheelchair ramp.  Instead a group of volunteers did it for him.

One quote from one of the volunteers, was “The state has yet to adopt the Americans With Disabilities Act that was passed 25 years ago, so that landlords and people could get training and know what their responsibilities are for people with disabilities,” he said.  Of course, our award winning local news station didn't bother to dig into that comment. 

However, based on what I've read here, landlords do not have to conform to ADA.  We cannot refuse to rent to a disabled person, but we don't have to build wheelchair ramps, bathroom handholds, low light switches, etc.  Correct?

Link to the story

Of course they blamed the landlord!  Everybody knows we are all just rich misers taking advantage of the down-trodden! lol

From what I understand (I am not a lawyer) modifications cannot be disallowed if 'reasonable' and at the expense of the tenant.  I had one deemed unreasonable once by the town inspector guy. The house was too close to the street for a ramp to fit (even with a huge turn) and the 100-yo bathroom only had a radius of 2.5 feet.  Need 5 for ADA I guess.

This wasn't a current tenant that became wheel-chair bound.  Each state probably has ADA compliance language online in general and regarding landlord-tenant law.  Thanks for posting @Jim Bentley !

Typically a disabled tenant is able to make modifications to the property to accommodate their disability. This is done at the tenants expense, and they need to upon relinquishing the property return it to it's original condition at their expense.  You can not block them from making such modifications either. The force of this is going to vary from state to state. 

@Russell Brazil , the story presented above wasn't that "his mean landlord wouldn't ALLOW him to build a wheelchair ramp", but rather, "his mean landlord wouldn't build him a wheelchair ramp". So like @Steve Vaughan said: "Of course they blamed the landlord".

But Steve, when you said "This wasn't a current tenant that became wheel-chair bound", that's not right is it? (But as far as Landlord responsibility goes, it would be the same either way, wouldn't it)?

For us who can walk, we should be very thankful to the Lord. Amen...

I think Steve was talking about his own situation and the town's denial when he was talking about it not being a current tenant.

In general it appears accommodations you pay and everyone has to make them (e.g. painting in a handicapped space)  but modification the tenant pays (unless you have government funding or were built after 1991). Not all housing falls under this rule.  While you can ask that the modifications be removed by the tenant upon leaving at tenant expense it was news to me that is only for the apartment modifications not the common area modifications.    So if you get a ramp I guess you keep it or remove it yourself at your expense.

When I think about the units I have they aren't in general easy to modify- tiny bath etc. I wonder about this law changing and how far they would go and consider it reasonable.

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