Managing your own Lake Elsinore property can be overwhelming. You may not have known that there are explicit codes of conduct you must adhere to accommodate persons with disabilities. Repulsion to render reasonable accommodations can be observed as a transgression against the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of mistake, even by accident, can arise in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on pricey attorneys. Taking some time to tutor yourself on the matter can help you elude all that worthless hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Yes indeed, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out, you want to accommodate all of your renters, disregarding their distinct needs, in any way you can. But how do you know if your potential renter actually has a disability? Managing a situation like this can be like walking through a minefield; you must proceed with caution.
If the probable renter does not have an apparent disability but is making a solicitation for reasonable accommodations, like having a ramp built onto a porch or having towel bars lowered, or even having the carpet replaced due to severe life-threatening allergies, you can request proof of the disability. Suitable treatment of a person with a disability is an all-encompassing topic, and you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is critical to get to know both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
First and foremost, consider that you cannot dismiss granting reasonable accommodation requests made by a person with disabilities. The gray area is entered when the conversation opens up to what information you can request and what is considered reasonable. It is valuable to recognize for your own protection that you can absolutely request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not straight off obvious. A doctor’s note must be provided, and, in the result of a dispute, only the Department of Housing and Urban Development can determine whether the proof is sufficient or not. Secondly, you should watch out that you are not obligated to extending any accommodation to anyone that would cast a financial worry on you as a landlord. Because you are not a renting out apartments in a complex, you will not be expected to make major changes to your home if those changes would be detrimental to your financial situation.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
Single-family homes rented without the use of a real estate agent or advertising are exempt from the federal Fair Housing Act as long as the private landlord/owner doesn’t own more than three homes at the time. Apartments of four units or less are also exempt if the owner lives in one of the units. However, even if this multi-family exemption applies to you, your rental advertising must still comply with the Act. Other exemptions include the rental of a single room in a home, qualified senior housing, and housing operated by religious or private organizations if certain requirements are met.
We’re Here to Help
On that note, we want you to know that you’re not alone. At Realevate Specialists, we have highly experienced and smart staff on hand to work with you on hard situations like these ones. While you may not certainly need property management to operate all areas of your rental business, with regard to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can feel complex and rigid at the same time, get help. For more information, please contact us online or call our Mission Valley office at 858-997-2100 or our Temecula office at 951-461-0100.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.