REAC Rules: Damage Caused by Wheelchairs

Rules Regarding Damage Caused by Wheelchairs

A refresher on an old rule about exceptions for routine wheelchair damage. There are a number of rules that are part of UPCS that have been in effect for so long that people sometimes forget they exist. This appears to be true with the rule that relates to damage caused by wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters on during REAC and UPCS Inspections.

At the various speaking events that US Housing has been booked at during the fall of 2013, a section of the discussion that included the aforementioned rule, resulted in the highest number of surprised responses and questions. So, we thought it would be good to reiterate the rule for everyone, provide the reference, and a few clarifying examples.

  • Routine, Damage to Any Area -This rule applies to damage that is likely to recur if repaired – this is most typically seen at corners in units or common areas where drywall is damaged by wheelchairs, or scrapes along doors at the level of the wheels or other mechanism. It is confined to walls and wall-trim and does not apply to doors or flooring.
  • Rule Doesn't Permit Hazardous Conditions - This doesn't in any way provide an override for hazardous conditions; in other words, this rule applies to routine issues caused by wheelchairs that doesn't create a hazard such as sharp edges, exposed wires, or blocked egress
  • Rule Associated with UPCS Code, not HUD, or LIHTC Specifically - This is not restricted to any specific funding or property with a specific population – in other words, this rule is as true at an assisted living nursing home as it would be at a family property.

Please keep in mind that you may have to inform your inspector of this rule, as it was released in 1998 and they may not be aware of it. The original citation is part of the original Dictionary of UPCS Definitions and reads as follows:

Damaged/Deteriorated Trim (Walls – Common Areas/Units)

Deficiency: Cove molding, chair rail, base molding, or other decorative trim is damaged or has decayed.

Note: Before the inspection starts, you should be given a list of UFAS buildings/units. For the buildings/units on this list, do not record superficial surface/paint damage caused by wheelchairs, walkers, or medical devices as a deficiency.

See the attached for a reference from the PASS Dictionary of Definitions...

See Page 176 & 291 - Walls and Wall Trim (Common Areas)

Page 178 & 292 - Walls/Peeling /Needs Paint (Common Areas)

Feel free to contact us with any questions about this or any other compliance issues. You can search our website at www.us-hc.com for past issues of "The Score" or to look at our upcoming seminars. 

Tenant Owned Hazards & Flammables
Skilled Nursing Facilities and REAC

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