If you’re the owner of multi-family rental property in Florida, you may feel like your offering(s) are appealing to a wide variety of possible tenants. But what about those who have various disabilities?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act – which is also commonly referred to simply as the ADA – landlords are prohibited from discriminating based upon a tenant’s (or a potential tenant’s) disability.

What exactly does this mean to you?

It essentially means that, according to the law, “businesses [must] provide accommodations to persons with disabilities and access that is equal or similar to that available to the general public.”

Here is a breakdown of just exactly how you need to comply. First, the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to public accommodations. So, while this act may be relevant to various elements of your property(ies), it does not require that you have ADA compliant living units.

But here is what it does apply to:

  1. Parking Area(s) – If you have an on-site leasing office, then the ADA requires that you have a certain number of van-accessible parking spots there. (These spots have specific size requirements, which can allow for a wheelchair ramp or lift to be used). Such parking spots also need to be clearly marked with the appropriate signage.
  2. Community Room(s) / Area(s) – If your property offers “areas of public accommodation,” such as a community room, this must also be ADA compliant if it is available to more people than just the residents and their guests. An example of this may be that the room is used for meetings and / or other public events. If your property has a leasing office, this too must abide by the ADA.

Unfortunately, not abiding by these rules could create a substantial amount of liability for you if you are not complying.

One way to better ensure that you are following all of the rules is to work in conjunction with a property management team. Doing so can also help to free up more of your time from managing tenants and marketing your vacant units.

For more information on how an experienced Florida propery manager can help, just give us a call today.