When planning for accessible entrances on an accessible route, and other accessibility-related requirements, it is important that all relevant parties be involved in ensuring the accessibility standards are met. At a recent national conference it was widely discussed that the architects working on a property had not received adequate education in accessibility. As a result, in this case, how would the property owner know whether or not their property was in compliance with these regulations?
Recently there have been several groups who have brought a series of suits against multifamily housing developers for allegedly violating certain design and accessibility construction requirements. These suits include many trials, a lot of time, and a lot of fines. Some violations sited include slopes that are too steep, sidewalks that are uneven, and door frames that are too narrow.
Aside from the fines that must be paid to the victims and the Department of Justice, the Developers need to pay for the modifications stated in the findings. It is important that Developers do what they can to avoid this. The most obvious way to do this is to ensure the accessibility requirements are in place at construction and before the first rental. If that time has passed, review the requirements and make sure your property is in compliance.
Fair Housing Accessibility is a serious issue. Even if you have confirmed compliance upfront, make sure you are periodically inspecting the property for needed repairs, modifications and replacements. Steps such as these may not guarantee compliance but they will certainly help as you strive for compliance.