M.S. from Santa Barbara County, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If a complex has interior hallways, are the doors to the exterior required to be ADA compliant? Same question for common area doors such as trash rooms. Or is there a minimum width and maximum weight? Closing timing (so doors don’t swing closed on the disabled or elderly – stay open long enough to get through) is also an issue.
Mister Condo replies:
M.S., as long as the condo was built to local building code standards at the time of construction, there isn’t too likely a requirement that the doors be ADA compliant. However, if a current resident is requesting that the doors be made ADA compliant, the association does have to give serious consideration to the request. This is an area where it is worth the while of the association to consult with their attorney before responding to the request. The attorney can advise the association of its options that satisfy the request as well as the association’s obligation for reasonable accommodation as outlined in the ADA. The same is true of requests on automatic door openers and closers. Avoiding liability is a chief concern for the association. The attorney can guide them through the best way to acknowledge the needs of residents while maintaining the needs of the association as well. All the best!