Builder beware! Federal court (mostly) rejects local building department’s duty to enforce Fair Housing Accessibility Rules

To avoid liability (and huge remediation costs) under the Fair Housing Act (“FHAct”), developers, builders and designers of multifamily housing properties need to make sure new properties comply with the FHAct’s accessible design rules. In some cases, local building codes address accessibility issues, but often those local codes do not conform to the FHAct’s requirements. As a result, a certificate of occupancy is no guaranty that a building in fact satisfies the FHAct. As one court case highlighted, developers, builders and designers need to determine whether their new properties satisfy the FHAct’s accessibility requirements, regardless of what local building inspectors say.

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