49. Are rental offices and other public and common use areas required to be accessible under the Fair Housing Act?

Rental offices and other public and common use areas must be accessible if they serve multifamily dwelling units that are subject to the design and construction requirements of the Act. If there are no covered dwelling units on the site, then the public and common use areas of the site are not required to be accessible under the Fair Housing Act. See Questions and Answers, Q. 13, 59 Fed. Reg. at 33,365-66.

It is important to note that Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act contains accessibility requirements that apply to rental and sales offices and other places of public accommodation that may be associated with housing, even if the housing is not covered by the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements. Further, Title II of the ADA applies accessibility requirements to housing and related facilities owned or operated by state or local government entities. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Architectural Barriers Act may also apply to public and common use areas of properties that are designed, constructed, or operated by entities receiving federal financial assistance. The question of whether the accessibility requirements of any of these three federal laws apply to the public or common use areas of a property needs to be considered in addition to whether the Fair Housing Act's design and construction requirements apply.

Ask the Times appears on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can call 563-333-2632, email ask@qctimes.com or write Ask the Times, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801.

 

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