In Michigan, condominium and homeowner associations can face challenges as they try to conform with the law for their property. When there is a disagreement over whether the associations have complied with the Fair Housing Act for people with disabilities, it is important to have a strong legal advocate to settle the matter and avoid extensive challenges and everything that goes along with it. Allegations that there was any form of discrimination can not only be costly in a financial sense, but it can also damage a reputation. A legal firm with a sterling reputation in these matters can be of assistance.
Protections for people with disabilities under the FHA
There are fundamental protections for people who are seeking to rent or buy a property. They cannot be discriminated against because of their race, gender, national origin, family status or age. Disability is included and the protections go beyond these basics. When a person looking to purchase a property or a relative of someone who is trying to purchase a property is disabled, there are additional protections. These include mental or physical disabilities.
If a person has an illness such as cancer, is mentally ill, has hearing problems, mobility issues, is visually impaired or is mentally challenged and their life activities are commensurately limited, they cannot be discriminated against. The housing association cannot refuse to allow modifications to address the person’s needs provided the person who is buying or renting pays for it. For a rental, the person is required to return the property to its previous condition if they decide to move. There must also be reasonable accommodation regarding services, rules, practices and policies so the disabled person can live on the property. Examples of accommodations include waiving a no pet policy for a service animal or allowing a person to park a specially equipped vehicle in a reserved space.
Legal representation can protect building associations
People who believe they have been discriminated against due to their disabilities might try to forge a legal battle against a building association. Often, this is simply due to a misunderstanding and not based on an overt violation of the law. Still, before making the situation worse, it is important to have legal assistance to address any allegations of wrongdoing. For this or any other issue that might arise, a law firm with experience in cooperative housing law and representing building associations can help.