Other Legal Protections

Previous Topic: Fair Housing Act

Next Topic: Discrimination & Other Legal Problems

This section discusses other laws and regulations that provide for and protect an individual’s rights to housing.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Some aspects of housing accessibility are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Title II of the ADA covers the activities of state and local governments. Title II requires "public entities to make both new and existing housing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities." Therefore, housing covered by Title II of the ADA includes housing operated by a state or local government entity, such as a State university campus or public housing authorities.

Title III of the ADA covers public accommodations. Therefore, Title III covers public and common use areas at housing developments when these public areas are open or available to the general public.

For example, Title III covers the rental office because it is open to the general public and a day care center or a community room if it is available to the general public.

Title III applies, regardless of whether the public and common use areas are operated by a federally assisted provider or by a private entity. However, if the community room or day care center were only open to residents of the building, Title III would not apply.

To learn more about what the ADA requires, visit the http://www.ada.gov/.

Please also sign up for our E-Newsletter to be notified when our comprehensive ADA topic page is complete.

Section 504

Some aspects of housing accessiblity are covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

Public housing and entities receiving housing choice vouchers are covered under the HUD regulations that implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Exceptions are made for a private landlord that accepts tenants through the housing choice voucher program.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. It prohibits the exclusion of qualified individuals with a disability based solely on the reason of her or his disability, from participating in or being discriminated against under any program, service or activity receiving federal financial assistance. It also covers programs or activities conducted by any federal agency or by the United States Postal Service.

For more information on Section 504, visit the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Architectural Barriers Act

Some aspects of housing accessibility are covered by the Architectural Barriers Act.

The Architectural Barriers Act covers buildings or facilities financed in whole or in part by the federal government. It applies to public housing and buildings and facilities constructed with Community Development Block Grants. It requires that the buildings be designed, constructed, or altered to comply with legal standards that ensure accessibility for persons with physical disabilities. It does not apply to privately-owned housing.

The Architectural Barriers Act requires that covered buildings comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (UFAS).

In practice, if buildings meet the requirements of Section 504 and of Title II of the ADA, they will also satisfy the requirements of the Archtectural Barriers Act.

For more information, visit the United States Access Board website.

Florida Mobile Home Act

If you live in a mobile home and rent or lease the lot, you also have rights and responsibilities under the Florida Mobile Home Act.

If you need assistance moving your mobile home, you should also be aware of the Mobile Home Relocation Program.

Because of the high cost of moving a mobile home, the Mobile Home Relocation Program provides financial assistance to home owners who are displaced when the property, under certain circumstances, can no longer be used as a mobile home park.

For more information  on the Florida Mobile Home Act, please visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations website.

Landlord & Tenant

Renters (tenants) and landlords each have rights and responsibilities.

Helpful information for renters can be found at the Division of Consumer Services website and the Florida Bar website.

To read the full Florida Landlord and Tenant Law, go to Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes at this link Landlord and Tenant Law.

If you are a renter or tenant and need assistance with a problem with a landlord, you may also request help from your local legal aid office. Locate the nearest legal aid office by visiting FloridaLawHelp.org.