Court to Consider Rental Accessibility Requirements

Americans with disabilitiesA Justice Department case against a Dallas apartment construction firm will go to court, Multifamily Executive reports, rather than being determined through summary judgment.

The federal agency filed the case due to allegations that the firm, JPI Apartment Construction, failed to provide for accessibility in its construction, violating the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Defending its practices, the firm argued that it met accessibility requirements despite failing to meet the guidelines used by the federal government. As such, it did not discriminate against residents with disabilities but instead accommodated them in a different way.

The DOJ sought summary judgment to avoid court proceedings, but has now failed to secure it. MFE reports the case will go to trial, where the question of what guidelines and standards can be used in construction will be determined.

Property owners and rental agents, among others, may find the outcome impacts the construction of new rental properties significantly. Similarly, renovations or remodeling of existing properties may be affected. If the DOJ wins the case, for example, properties failing to meet HUD guidelines may require alterations to qualify.