W.B. from Morris County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My father-in-law recently became wheelchair bound. Is the condo association responsible for installing a handicap ramp from the parking lot to the sidewalk that leads to his door?
Mister Condo replies:
W.B., I am sorry that your father-in-law has become wheelchair bound. As you can imagine, he isn’t the first condo owner to experience this hardship. The association is not typically responsible for installing a handicap ramp or making any other modifications to the common areas on behalf of any owner. However, if a unit owner makes the request to modify a common element due to their handicap, the Board must listen to the request and respond to the request. The standard for their reply is “reasonable accommodation”. I am not an attorney nor do I offer legal advice in this column. If your father-in-law requests the ramp be installed at his own expense and the association says “no”, it might be time to speak with an attorney. Otherwise, they may approve the installation but it will be at your father-in-law’s expense. You can ask the Board if they will pay for it but, in my experience, they likely will not. Good luck!