Common Resident Accommodation Requests & Responses

Allergies

An upstairs resident requests to install hardwood or other hard surface flooring to minimize allergies, even if carpet removal is prohibited in the declaration. The request may be accompanied by a letter from an allergist stating that the removal of carpet is necessary to control allergic symptoms. If the board is required to grant this accommodation, they may include certain conditions so as not to disturb the lower unit, for example, requiring carpet runners in traffic patterns. The association may be able to negotiate a recordable agreement so that it is binding on successors owners.

Parking Privileges

A physically disabled resident may request parking privileges not available to other members of the association, such as parking in a guest space that is closer to the individual’s residence. If the resident is known to have a physical disability or presents such medical evidence to the board, the association has an affirmative duty to make a reasonable accommodation. In this case, the board would exempt the individual from the normal parking rules.

Pets

Under the new Davis-Stirling Act §4715, no governing documents may prohibit an owner of a separate interest within a common interest development from keeping at least one pet within the common interest development, subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the association. Under the statute, a “pet” is defined as any domesticated bird, cat, dog, aquatic animal kept within an aquarium, or other animal as agreed to between the association and the homeowner.

This law went into effect on January 1st, 2001, and exempted governing documents drafted prior to the law’s effective date. However, because more recent changes to the law have required associations to modify their rules, all California associations are now required to permit pet ownership.

Handicap Pool Access

Common interest developments are not required to comply with the ADA’s public accommodation laws regarding handicap pool access, unless:

  • The association rents pool facilities to the public for an event. The association must provide handicap access to the pool and other facilities during the event.
  • The association is renting out units to other people while owners are away.

Learn more about accommodating disabilities and the law.


Adapted from Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act,” a Joint Statement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice; and from “Making Accommodations” (2010) by Jeffrey A. Barnett, Esq.
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