Does my HOA need to comply with the ADA?

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The ADA mandates accommodations for disabled persons in public facilities, which could affect your homeowners community.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, including the ability to access and enjoy public and commercial facilities. Many homeowners associations (HOA) are often confused on whether they need to comply with the ADA. Just as with the Fair Housing Act , it often depends.

Generally, the ADA will apply to parts of community amenities not used solely by residents. For instance, if your community has a pool that is open only to residents or their guests, your HOA is not required to comply with the ADA. However, if your association is part of a timeshare, rents the pool to members of the public, or allows the pool to be used for public events (such as swim meets), then your HOA likely does need to comply with ADA accessibility standards.

The same is true of any common space used for public events, such as a game or meeting hosted by the HOA that is open to members of the public and held at an association’s clubhouse. Parking lots that provide guest parking can also be argued to be public spaces that are covered by the ADA.

Unlike the Fair Housing Act, which only requires an HOA to make modifications if the change is considered reasonable, any area within a community association that falls under the ADA must be modified. And that modification must be paid for by the HOA.

If your HOA has concerns, or is not certain whether areas of the community might fall under ADA regulations, be sure to talk with an attorney. Even if the ADA is not applicable to these areas of concern, there may be other laws designed to protect disabled individuals that apply.

This article contains general information. Individual situations are unique; please, consult your attorney before utilizing any of the information contained in this article.

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Source: Colorado Homeowners Association Law, Tinnelly Law Group, The Meisner Law Group
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