Many older buildings face unique challenges when trying to make physical changes that will enable access and create safe conditions for individuals who are handicapped. However, many changes may be necessary in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Acts as well as state law governing accessibility. Here are some things that property managers of condominium and apartment buildings should bear in mind about accessibility modifications.
You May Need to Evaluate Your Elevators
Of course, simply having an elevator in your building doesn’t necessarily mean that it can accommodate individuals who have limited mobility or use a wheelchair. A complaint elevator must have adequate dimensions, and the controls may need to be accessible from a seated position. Furthermore, it’s extremely important that your elevators work reliably. If your building has only one or two elevators that are continually malfunctioning, individuals in wheelchairs may be trapped in their homes or prevented from entering their homes when this occurs. For help with elevator repair DC, reach out to a provider who can offer you insight on accessibility requirements and also offer a preventative maintenance contract so that you can prevent recurring service outages.
Respond to Requests for Reasonable Accommodation in a Timely Manner
When a resident sends you a written request for a reasonable accommodation, you should treat it as a legal notice and respond as soon as possible. Some types of changes that are requested by your residents may be cost-prohibitive. However, the majority of requests for reasonable accommodation that you’ll see will likely involve small modifications such as the installation of grab bars.
If you’re unsure about whether certain conditions within your building are compliant or you have questions about the feasibility of specific modifications, it’s advisable to get expert input. Modifications are a legal matter, so you may need to get a legal opinion.