ADA Compliance

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  #1  
Old 12-04-12, 04:31 PM
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ADA Compliance

An odd controversy in CT with the local TV news media fanning the flames. A couple in a rental mobile home have become wheelchair bound. It is unclear (not mentioned) exactly how disabled they are, both appear to be middle aged. They asked their landlord to install a ramp. He refused. They went to the media who televised their story.

Chapter 2 Apparently enough donations were made so that the renters can pay for the ramp. The landlord still refuses. The media has enlisted the help of local welfare/ADA agencies to try to compel the landlord to allow the ramp to be built.
Based on the involvement of welfare agency this might be a section 8 property. Should that matter?

Initially I felt for the tenants. Why not build them a ramp? However, the more I think about it the more I find myself agreeing with the landlord. It's his property and it was not rented to disabled persons.

Should a landlord have to comply with ADA requirements if their property was rented before they became disabled? To me that seems like a really slippery slope.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 05:03 PM
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Not sure, Wayne, but if it is Section 8, anything goes as far as the governing body is concerned in favor of the occupants, from what I have observed. I agree with your line of thinking, however.

Now, my weekend rental cabin was built in the early 1970's so naturally it is not ADA by any means. I had one guest who was not totally disabled, and could get around once inside of the cabin. His problem was navigating into the cabin from his car. I was in Denver visiting the kids, and called my crew and told them to build a ramp on it and where to build it. He was very happy. Heck, I like the ramp myself. Others have commented on the ease of taking luggage up it, too, so it stays!!
 
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Old 12-04-12, 05:28 PM
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It starts at the ramp, next is the door width adjustments, then the curbless shower, then the lower kitchen counters, then the assist bars in the bathroom, remote controlled auto opening entry doors.........where does it end.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 05:53 PM
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Speaking as a landlord I knew my tenants had a handicapped child coming into my house and stipulated in the lease that they could go ahead and make changes but that any changes would become my and my moms property since we both are landlords of the house. Just recently my tenants came to me and said could they have a ramp built for their now grown child who they still have to help. I said sure but had to wait to send in a letter to an assistance place and then that place paid for it. I waited because I wanted to think about what I wanted to tell them. Basically I said the same thing that is in the lease that the ramp would become our property and we would decide on whether it would stay or go when their son doesn't need it. Like you Larry though I like the ramp so much that I think we should keep it. By the way I remember seeing that ramp on your website Larry your crew does a nice job!
 
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Old 12-04-12, 06:08 PM
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I have a feeling the ADA regulations do not apply to single residence rentals. If the CT section 8 is anything like NJ, then every apartment must be inspected and meet section 8 housing standards for the landlord to receive section 8 payments. I don't think the landlord should be forced to install this ramp. The only thing I expect the landlord to do is to allow the renters to break their lease with no penalty so they can find suitable housing. I can't say I know what mobile homes are like up close, but I can't imagine the front door, let alone the internal layout of a mobile home will allow a wheel chair to navigate.
 
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Old 12-04-12, 11:59 PM
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drooplug I agree with you about mobile homes at least the ones you can move around. I once knew a family in Virginia that lived in a double wide that according to Virginia standards anyway they still considered mobile as wheels could be put on it and it could be moved. In that mobile home at least you could navigate a wheel chair. The hall ways were just as wide if not wider than the average house.
As to houses in my area there are a whole stack of rules that they make every year and if I was the type of landlord who didn't care too much for his tenants then the city could cause a whole lot of hurt in the wallet with all kinds of fines. Some of the rules are kind of dumb that they have and others make a whole lot of sense. In any event the rules are geared more toward the tenant and less towards the landlord so they still probably would have had their ramp no matter what. In my way of thinking though it is just the right thing to do regardless of what the law says.
 
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Old 12-05-12, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for the comments, Richard. They didn't have enough room to make it a full 1:12 pitch without ending up on the side of the mountain, but it isn't certified ADA, and it works well for everyone.
 
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Old 12-05-12, 05:57 AM
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Some of the rules are kind of dumb
That's the problem with legislating stuff - it takes common sense out of the picture

About 30 yrs or so ago when I was working in fla the state passed a big ADA bill. One of the stipulations was every house built had to have at least one bath rm and bed rm with a 2'8" door. A couple of the builders I painted for followed the new rule but all they did was increase the door size. What good is it to be able to push a wheelchair into a bath rm if you can't get in far enough to shut the door or turn the wheelchair in any direction? It would have made more sense to me if they would have charged a few dollars more for permits that weren't ADA approved and used that money to fund a program for those that needed ADA improvements.

I've built a couple of wheelchair ramps and while neither met the ADA guide lines, the owners were tickled to have them. These were homes where the space/money wasn't there to build them right...... and my labor was free
 
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Old 12-05-12, 06:20 PM
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There is a kind of back story by the way everyone to my tenants and their new ramp. Well the same people who were paying for the ramp are also paying for a companion to help their handicapped son. The thing was though if the new ramp didn't exist then they wouldn't pay for a companion either. The tenants had made their own ramp in the begining and I thought it was fine but this group didn't and it really wasn't easy for him to get out on his own but they were happy until recently.
The thing that makes it nice though now is their son can go out on his own and he gets his companion helper and my tenants can work longer without interruptions and having to have to go home. As to it being ADA compliant I can't say although I will say it sure is big enough. When I said they could build their ramp I told them it was their responsibility to get the necessary permits. Since it was built our city has been out to inspect the property and they had no complaints. We have to have a city inspection because every rental house in our city has to have a use and occupancy permit every year. Also have garbage collection fees even though we pay taxes on the property and for a while we had rent control, those are the dumb laws I was talking about!
 
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Old 12-05-12, 07:58 PM
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When I built my mother and father's house she asked me how much more would it cost to have 3-0 doors as interior doors. Told her about $5 (1986). She had me put in 3-0's throughout. She was seeing far enough into the future when a wheelchair would be needed and it worked out fine, as she needed it later on in life, and was able to stay in her own home. Sure beat enlarging openings due to a need.
 
  #11  
Old 12-11-12, 07:00 AM
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Heh. I'm in a social club that meets at various members' houses, no clubhouse or anything like that. One member got really upset because the meetings were too far away from her house, claiming that she couldn't drive more than a half an hour. Thing is, she lived more than a half an hour from basically any other member. She also complained about navigating the steps in people's homes, claiming that with her cane it was hard. She tried to make the claim to the membership that it was an ADA issue.

I pointed out that since the social club had no government-recognized charter, had no legal status, and that the paltry dues and petty-cash bank account was basically enough to let us put t-shirt orders together and supply food for the barbecues and parties, that gatherings at members' homes were basically no more than someone inviting a large group of their friends over to their home for the afternoon, albeit having scheduled that invitation well in advance.

I did feel sorry for her, but only to a point. They chose to live in Queen Creek, which means that they were simply not able to go anywhere in the Phoenix area without significant amounts of driving, and most of the members live in the center of town or on the north end of town, only a few of us are in the southeast valley, and we're still not even within that half-hour range...
 
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Old 12-11-12, 04:05 PM
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Interesting how she tried to make everyone bend over backwards for her instead of finding a nother social club that is closer to home.
 
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