That may be a bit extreme, but recent cases from Florida and Indiana hold that merely owning an apartment complex that is not in compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act will require the owner to bring the entire complex into compliance with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (“SAD”). In National Fair Housing Alliance v. S.C. Bodner Co. the Court put the matter plainly, holding that a property owner can be found liable “for merely offering to rent apartments that were designed and built out of compliance with the disabilities access standards.” Harding v. Orlando Apartments, LLC reached the same conclusion, holding that “failure to remedy” deficiently constructed apartments constituted illegal discrimination. More
The ACCESS Act – A statutory quick fix that needs some fixing.
By richardhunt in ADA FHA General, ADA FHA Legislation No Comments
By Richard Hunt
In a letter to the Subcommittee on the Judiciary the National Multi Housing Counsel and National Apartment Association expressed support for HR 3356 as a solution to abusive litigation under the ADA and FHA. The goals of the ADA Compliance for Customer Entry to Stores and Services (“ACCESS”) Act, as HR 3356 are good, but it does not address the problem in a manner consistent with the goals of the ADA and FHA. More
ATMs and the ADA –The Next Wave of Litigation?
By richardhunt in Accessibility Litigation Trends, Financial Institutions No Comments
By Richard Hunt
In the last two months 19 class action lawsuits have been filed in the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas claiming that ATM owners are violating the ADA because the voice guidance equipment in a single ATM is broken. More will have been filed by the time this blog is posted. The immediate impetus for these lawsuits is the March 15, 2012 effective date of the new Accessibility Standards, which require voice guidance in ATMs. This round of lawsuits may turn out to be a flash in the pan because of serious technical problems with the claims. On the other hand, if the local District Court accept the rationale in these lawsuits they may be part of a much larger wave of ADA litigation that goes beyond problems with individual ATMs. More