# 75 III-1.

2000 DJ 202-PL-146 May 25, 1993

Ms. Nancy R. Snow State of Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Civil Rights Division 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050 Denver, Colorado 80202-5143 Dear Ms. Snow: This letter is in response to your request for information about the provisions of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department. You have asked whether title III of the ADA covers certain areas within existing multi-family dwellings: (1) an office where people make inquiries and applications; (2) common areas, such as meeting rooms or club houses, used only by residents and their non-paying guests; (3) common areas available to be rented to the public; and (4) parking areas and exterior access routes in buildings that contain offices or common areas that must comply with the ADA. You have also asked for a definition for "short-term" rentals such that a residential hotel offering them would be a place of lodging covered by the ADA, and whether congregate care facilities other than homeless shelters, such as nursing homes, which offer medical or social services, are covered by the ADA.

Title III of the ADA, which applies to certain privately owned and operated facilities, does not apply to strictly residential dwellings. However, common areas in residential buildings, such as rental offices and meeting rooms, that fall in one of the twelve categories of places of public accommodation under title III and that are not intended for the exclusive use of tenants and their guests are subject to the ADA. For example, rental offices that are open to the public would be considered rental establishments or service establishments under title III. Meeting rooms, if not restricted to tenants and their guests, would be a place of public gathering covered by the ADA. Parking, entrances, access routes, and restrooms serving the areas covered by the ADA would also be covered. In determining whether the ADA applies to a particular part of a residential facility, it makes no difference whether the facility has, or is required to have, accessible living units. The Department has not established a definition of "shortterm" rentals in the context of ADA applicability to places of lodging. Such determinations can only be made on a case by case basis. We have concluded in one specific situation that a facility intended or used for stays of one week or less is a "public accommodation" offering "short-term" rentals, and thus subject to ADA coverage. However, that finding does not preclude ADA coverage of facilities where longer stays are permitted. Congregate care facilities offering medical or social services are covered by the ADA, regardless of the transience of their occupants, if they are determined to be "social service center establishments," one of the ADA's twelve categories of places of public accommodation. The preamble to the title III regulation specifically states that nursing homes and homeless shelters providing social services to their occupants are covered as social service center establishments, independent of their coverage as places of lodging. Further discussion of this issue is included on pages 35551-52 of the title III Federal Register publication. I hope this information is responsive to your inquiry. To provide additional information, I have enclosed copies of the regulations and technical assistance manuals for both titles II and III of the ADA. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures (4)