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Wheelchair Accessibility for Commercial Properties

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Wheelchair Accessibility for Commercial Properties

Physically disabled people may have mobility problems getting into and out of buildings. This is especially true if the entrance is located above a stairwell with no other entranceway. Rest assure, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) require commercial buildings to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Federal American with Disabilities Act

The federal government wants everyone to be treated equally. For persons with disabilities, this means that they get equal access to goods, services, and housing. Thus, under the ADA, commercial businesses must install wheelchair ramps on their buildings such that even persons with mobility issues may access the service and goods that the commercial building provides.

Ramp Requirements

Though the ADA ideally wants all commercial buildings to have ramps, this is not the law. Ramps are required to be installed on "new" buildings. These are buildings that are first built after January 26, 1992 and first occupied after January 26, 1993. So, if the building is older, they may be exempted.

Additionally, older buildings are required to install ramps if they can afford to do so.

Other Requirements

Sometimes it may be financially infeasible to make a commercial building accessible to people with disabilities. Thus, the law may require the business to cater to the needs of the people with disabilities another way. For example, for a restaurant located on the second floor of a building with only stair entrance, they may be legally obligated to provide takeout to people who cannot physically go up into their restaurant.

Consulting an Attorney

If your business received notice that it must comply with the ADA and you cannot afford to do so, a real estate lawyer or a personal injury lawyer can help you argue your exemption. This is also true for tenants of buildings that are not ADA compliant as they may be liable for their landlord’s incompliance.

Photo of page author Mabel Yee

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-05-2018 08:17 PM PDT

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