Managing one’s own property can be challenging. 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. The Fair Housing Act may be violated by refusing to make a reasonable accommodation. Even if it’s inadvertent, committing that sort of infringement can lead to years in court and money you’d rather not spend on costly lawyers. You’ll save a lot of hassle by making the effort to educate yourself on the issue.
What is a Reasonable Request?
No matter what their unique circumstances may be, as a landlord with a rental property, you naturally want to make accommodations for all of your tenants. How do you find out if your potential tenant has a disability, though? Dealing with this situation is like navigating a minefield; use caution.
If a person’s disability is evident and their request is appropriate for their condition, you should immediately grant their request. Only if it is uncertain how the request relates to their disability can you request additional information about the request. If a person’s disability is NOT obvious, you can request supplementary documentation that the requested accommodation is related to the person’s disability. The provision of this can be made by a physician, peer support group, non-medical service organization, or other trustworthy third party. You shouldn’t ask for medical records.
Not all people who have impairments will ask for reasonable accommodation. Nevertheless, anyone with a disability has the right to request or receive a reasonable modification or accommodation at any time.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
You might be interested in learning more about your accommodation after you get a request for one or learn of a reasonable change. You must be sure to abide by all applicable handicap laws and standards as a property manager. 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 a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking space, you may only inquire about the person’s needs connected to their disability. You also have the option to ask for emergency contact information. Asking about the breed and training of the animal is acceptable if a person with a disability has one.
If, and only if, it is uncertain how the request relates to the person’s disability, you may request confirmation from a healthcare professional.
It is essential to remember to treat people with disabilities with dignity and respect and to avoid requesting superfluous or intrusive information. Furthermore, all data you gather should be kept confidential and only shared with those who have a particular need to know.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that businesses, landlords, and public accommodations in the United States make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities who stay on their premises. The reasonable accommodation requirements of the ADA, however, do not apply to all properties.
Owner-occupied private residences, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums, with no more than four units are excluded from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation rules. Under state and local fair housing regulations, landowners may still be required to provide reasonable accommodations in certain situations.
We’re Here to Help
The educated crew at Real Property Management Gold is glad to assist you in comprehending the procedure for responding to accommodation requests. To guarantee that renters with disabilities are properly accommodated, we offer resources, carry out assessments, and engage with tenants. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 301-392-2172.
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.