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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Charles County?

Charles County Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestThis is the first time anyone has said managing your property was easy. Managing your property is tedious, time-consuming, complex, and challenging for the most part. You might have just realized that you need to follow specific codes of conduct to accommodate persons with disabilities. Rejecting such requests to provide reasonable accommodations can be viewed as violating the Fair Housing Act. Even if not done on purpose, committing that kind of violation means years of battling it out in court and dollars you would rather not spend on expensive attorneys. Spending some time to read up on the matter can help you prevent all that unnecessary trouble.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Naturally, as a landlord with a single-family rental residence in Charles County, you want to accommodate all of your renters, whatever their specific needs, in any manner you can. But how do you know if your possible renter has a disability? Managing a situation like this can feel like going through a minefield; you must proceed cautiously.

Suppose the hopeful renter does not have an observable disability but is putting in a request for reasonable accommodations, like having a ramp built onto a porch, having towel bars lowered, or even having the carpet replaced due to severe life-threatening allergies. In that case, you can request proof of the disability. Appropriate treatment of a person with a disability is an extensive topic, and you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so understanding both your obligations and your rights is crucial.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize that denying reasonable accommodation requests from individuals with disabilities is not permissible. However, the challenge arises when determining the extent of information you can request and what qualifies as reasonable. For your safety, it’s within your rights to ask for medical proof if a person’s disability is not immediately evident. In such cases, a doctor’s note is required. In a dispute, only the Department of Housing and Urban Development has the authority to decide the sufficiency of the provided proof.

Also, it’s imperative to be aware that, as a landlord, you are not obligated to implement accommodations that would have a significant financial burden. Unlike apartment complexes, where extensive changes might be expected, you are not required to make alterations to your home that would be financially detrimental. This ensures that your responsibilities as a landlord align with reasonable accommodations without compromising your financial stability.

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 renting a single room in a home, qualified senior housing, and housing operated by religious or private organizations if specific requirements are met.

We’re Here to Help

The bottom line is to know that you are not alone. Our team at Real Property Management Gold has highly trained and well-educated staff to work with you in sticky situations like these. Though you might not necessarily require property management to deal with all aspects of your rental business, when it comes to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can be complex and rigid all at once, you should acquire help. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us or call us directly at 301-392-2172. That is, after all, what we are here for.

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.

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