TENNESSEE – Homeowners’ association threatens to sue residents over wheelchair ramp

Consumer Affairs:  Homeowners’ association threatens to sue residents over wheelchair ramp
Because learning from someone else’s mistake is just too easy
By Jennifer Abel
June 10, 2015
Last month, a homeowners’ association in Franklin, Tennessee paid $156,000 to settle (with no admission of wrongdoing) a lawsuit brought by former residents who said that the HOA discriminated against them and violated the Fair Housing Act, when it refused to let them build a therapeutic sunroom where their two children with Down syndrome could play and receive in-home physical therapy.And this week, another HOA in nearby Brentwood is threatening to sue a couple unless they remove a wheelchair ramp necessary for the husband to enter his own home.

WSMV reports that, after Michael Broadnax suffered a stroke last summer, his wife Charlotte put a small ramp in front of their house so her husband could have his rehabilitation therapy at home. But their HOA, the Woodlands of Copperstone, sent them a letter dated June 1 and demanding the ramp be removed within 14 days.

“The association demands that within 14 days of the date of this letter, you remove the wheelchair ramp and restore the exterior of your home,” the letter said, or else “the association [will] come onto your property and remove the ramp and charge you with the work.” Furthermore, “If you force the association to sue you, it will seek a court order” and then charge the Broadnaxes for attorney’s fees.

Charlotte Broadnax says that she installed the ramp around Thanksgiving. “The nursing home said they were sending my husband home and I needed a ramp put up.” So she hired a legal contractor to install the ramp, whch passed the nursing home’s inspection, and she also says that neither her neighbors nor anybody else ever complained to her about the ramp — until she received the certified letter threatening legal action if she didn’t remove it within two weeks.  Read more:

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