On June 25 the Supreme Court held that FHA discrimination claims can be based on disparate impact. Texas Dep’t of Hous. & Cmty. Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 2015 WL 2473449, at *9 (U.S. June 25, 2015). At first blush this doesn’t seem to have much to do with accessibility claims. When we talk about the policies that discriminate against those with disabilities we usually look at 42 U.S.C. Section 3604(f)(3)(B), which requires reasonable accommodation; that is, exceptions to a policy because the policy has a disproportionate impact on those with disabilities. However, Inclusive Communities Project may have its own disparate impact on claims of disability discrimination. More
About Richard Hunt
Posts by Richard Hunt:
You can’t turn down or evict a handicapped* tenant because renting to him would increase your risk of liability. That is one of the important lessons from the Second Circuit’s June 2 decision in Rodriguez v. Vill. Green Realty, Inc., 2015 WL 3461554, at *15 (2d Cir. June 2, 2015). If a tenant or prospective tenant is willing to accept some risk caused by his or her handicap the landlord doesn’t get to decide he shouldn’t. More
Last week I wrote about the ADA problems created by point of sale displays. The same case, Kalani v. Starbucks Corp., 2015 WL 846651, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 25, 2015), includes a warning about trash cans and restrooms.
In many older buildings, including those built after the ADA standards went into effect, restroom size is a serious problem. Because of plumbing issues restrooms are difficult to expand or move, and the location of the toilet and sink may be fixed for all practical purposes. When local codes permit it, turning two restrooms into a single unisex restroom may help, but in many cases restaurants and others with ADA restroom problems seek to comply by building the smallest permissible restroom. More
I’ve written twice recently about temporary barriers to access (“You’ve got to walk the walk” and “You’ve got to walk the walk part II). It is an issue that will probably never go away because standard point of sale marketing techniques are very likely to conflict with the ADA. The latest decision is one in the apparently endless of series of battles between Starbucks and Robert Kalani. Kalani v. Starbucks Corp., 2015 WL 846651, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 25, 2015). More
U.S. v. Avatar Properties, Inc., 2015 WL 2130540 (D. New Hampshire 2015) is a little case with a big reminder: condominium and homeowners associations fail to accommodate disabilities at their own risk. The law isn’t perfectly settled, but it is safe to say based on this and other cases that ignoring an accommodation request is probably not a good idea.