Does the ADA apply to all apartments and condominiums?
The ADA does not always apply to apartments and condominiums. In terms of housing, Title II entities (state and local government) have an obligation under the ADA to provide access and services in an accessible manner. Some examples of housing covered under the ADA include areas like correctional facilities, housing authorities, dorms, group homes and long term shelters. If there are areas open to the public in a privately built development, like a leasing office, then the ADA would apply to the leasing office because that is considered a place of public accommodation under Title III of the ADA, but the ADA would not apply to the dwelling units themselves.
However, another law called the Fair Housing Act (FHA), applies to all housing providers—private and public. The FHA prohibits housing providers from discriminating against applicants or residents because of disability. The FHA requires certain design features in newly constructed multi-family developments and it makes it unlawful to refuse “to make reasonable accommodations/modifications in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodation may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”