Condo Associations: Make Sure You Understand Your Accessibility Requirements

Posted on: July 11, 2019 by Javier iSure

State and local laws usually grab the attention of community association board members, taking away from the focus that needs to be shared with federal law. One federal law that condo associations, for example, need to make sure they don’t overlook is related to accessibility requirements for disabled residents. By not keeping close to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), condo associations can come under fire with costly legal issues of their own.

ADA Outline

The ADA prohibits discrimination of any kind on the basis of someone’s disability. When community association property is open to the public, and not just those living on a property, the ADA covers those with disabilities. If a community association is exclusively residential and the property is not open to the public, say for events, then that association is not subject to the ADA, however, it is still governed by the Fair Housing Act.

If a community is subject to the ADA, then it will have to comply with federal law by making reasonable modifications in its policies, practices, and procedures in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities. The association may also be required to go further in its compliance with its existing facilities on site, including installing ramps, making curbs at sidewalks and entrances, widening doorways, installing grab bars, and adding raised letters or braille to control buttons and other surfaces.

Handling Insurance and Claims

The ADA will apply to a community association if it is a place of public accommodation and then the association must meet the standards of the federal requirements. If someone living on a property holds an event that is able to be open to the public, the community where it is held can be held liable for ADA liabilities.

If this is the case, the condo association in question needs to be covered by condo association insurance. This kind of protection can provide security for condo communities looking to be financially safe in the middle of a legal case related to breaking ADA rules. Condo association insurance is a backstop for communities who can see steep financial costs in the middle of litigation.

A community association that is subject to the ADA will be exposed to risks and liabilities, including claims of discrimination. Being subject to the ADA may also affect condo association insurance coverage. ADA laws are strict, complex, and the penalties for violations, no matter how seemingly small they are, can be harsh.

About iSure Insurance Brokers

After serving leaders in the Greater Miami market for more than three decades, iSure Insurance Brokers has become the provider of choice for discerning commercial clients and individuals alike. Because no two insurance programs are or should be alike, you can be sure that iSure will craft a comprehensive approach to protection that is as unique as you are. We welcome the opportunity to protect what you have worked so hard to build. Please contact us at (305) 223-2533 to learn more about what we can offer you.

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