The Americans With Disabilities Act is about three decades old now, but despite its longstanding requirements for accessible communities, many apartment companies and condo associations still struggle to make their units fully accessible. This is due partly to the way the ADA specifies accommodations be made, but also to the existing architecture, many of which predates the law, that many communities deal with. Unfortunately, for those who are caught in an ADA suit, there can be a wide range of legal expenses in addition to the cost of any property modifications that must eventually be made.
Public Gatherings and ADA Compliance
Technically, there is no requirement for condo associations or home builders to create accessible homes. The ADA only governs publicly accessible venues, like businesses that rely on consumer sales and service calls or venues like restaurants and performance spaces. Most of the time, creating compliant access to units would be the responsibility of the homeowners through additions like ramps and of access features. If, however, someone hosts a gathering intended to be open to the public, then ADA condo requirements come into play because any member of the public who wishes to participate needs to be able to access the space. Thus, events like community yard sales and open houses when a property is on the market can become avenues of risk without the right insurance in place.