Condo Parking and the ADA

G.S. from Massachusetts writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I rent a unit in condo in MA and the question is the following: I believe that one of the handicapped parking spaces in the condominium is “unlawful” since it’s been created overnight by just putting a tab with the handicapped symbol. I made a research and I have learned that in order to be regular, thus lawful, a handicapped parking space must comply with the ADA regulation. In this case, a part the handicapped tab sign, this parking space doesn’t have those required features. Does the condominium need to modify this parking space because of ADA requirements or because it is a private parking lot ADA doesn’t apply? How to address this issue?

Mister Condo replies:

G.S., you have answered your own question. Typically, condominium associations are private property and are not subject to the same requirements for handicapped parking as a public parking area like a supermarket might be. There are exceptions. For instance, if the club house were rented out, it could be argued that the grounds are not private and that commerce is being conducted there, in which case the higher standards of the ADA would apply. The bottom line is that an association only needs to make a reasonable consideration for granting handicapped parking. If your association is a private entity, they are likely in compliance with what they are required to do. If not, you should alert a Property Manager or Board member so that they can take corrective action. Good luck!

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