Managing your own property can be hard. It’s possible that you were only recently made aware of the need to adhere to particular standards of conduct to accommodate persons who have disabilities. It can be illegal to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. Even if unintentional, committing this type of infraction can cost you years in court and a lot of money on costly attorneys. You’ll avoid a lot of grief if you make the effort to educate yourself on the subject.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Without question, as a landlord with a rental property, you want to accommodate your tenants in any way attainable, regardless of their specific needs. But how can you discover if a potential renter is disabled? Managing such a scenario is analogous to traversing a minefield; proceed with prudence.
If a person’s impairment is clear and their request relates to that condition, you should grant it immediately. You may only request additional information if it is uncertain how the request relates to the individual’s disability. Asking for verification will allow you to confirm that the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s disability if their impairment is NOT immediately apparent. One can get this from several trustworthy sources, including medical professionals, peer support groups, non-medical service agencies, and others. It is not proper to ask for medical records.
Not all people who have impairments will ask for reasonable accommodation. Nonetheless, individuals with disabilities have the right to request or receive reasonable modifications or accommodations at any time.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
You’ll probably be interested to learn more about your accommodation after you receive a request for one or receive a request for a reasonable change. You have a responsibility as a property manager to obey all laws and guidelines pertaining to people with disabilities. Only request information that is necessary to make a reasonable accommodation or to ensure the accessibility and safety of the property when interviewing a person with a disability.
To set up an appropriate modification, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking space, you may just ask for information about the person’s disability-related needs. You can ask for emergency contact details in case of an emergency. If an individual with a disability has a support animal, you may ask about the breed and training of the animal.
You may also request confirmation of the person’s disability from a healthcare professional if, and only if, it is unclear how the request relates to their disability.
It is essential to remember to treat people with disabilities with dignity and respect and to avoid requesting superfluous or intrusive information. Additionally, all data should be kept private and only given to people who truly need to know.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that most public, private, and rental establishments in the United States provide accessible features and services to people with disabilities who request them. The ADA’s standards for reasonable accommodations, however, do not apply to all buildings.
The ADA’s requirements for reasonable accommodations are typically waived for privately owned homes that have no more than four units, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. However, under certain circumstances, state and local fair housing laws may still oblige landlords to make reasonable modifications.
We’re Here to Help
The competent staff at Real Property Management Realevate Specialists is eager to explain the procedure for handling accommodation requests to you. We provide resources, conduct evaluations, and interact with tenants to accommodate renters with disabilities. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 858-997-2100 or 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.