People with disabilities have rights that protect them from discrimination in housing. If you are a landlord, you are responsible for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other housing laws.
Laws protecting people with disabilities in housing
Several laws protect people with disabilities from discrimination in housing.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act protects people with disabilities (and other protected groups of people) from discrimination when:
- Renting a house or apartment
- Buying a house
- Getting a mortgage
- Getting housing assistance
- Other housing-related activities
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination in any program or activity receiving federal funding.
- Can’t be denied access to a program or activity because of their disability
- Can’t be put in separate programs and services from people without disabilities,
- A housing provider that receives federal money can’t:
- Refuse to sell or rent to people with disabilities
- Add more qualifications, agreement language, or additional fees for people with disabilities
- Put people with disabilities all on one floor or in one section of the housing
- Limit the person’s ability to use common areas
- Not provide the same services it provides to the other residents
Americans with Disabilities Act
What the ADA Covers
- Government-owned or government-operated housing
- Public housing
- Student and faculty housing at a school
- Temporary housing during emergency
- Homeless shelters
- Nursing homes
- Hotel pools, lobby, recreation facilities, parking lots, garages, and gathering spaces
What the ADA does not cover
The ADA does not cover privately owned or leased housing that is not open to the general public.
- Single-family homes
The ADA does cover the areas that the public can visit at private housing, like rental offices and parking lots.
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