Managing one’s property can be challenging. You may have only recently realized that certain standards of conduct must be adhered to to accommodate persons with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act may be violated by refusing to make a reasonable accommodation. Even accidentally breaking that rule might lead to years in court and money you’d rather not spend on pricey lawyers. You’ll save a lot of hassle by making the effort to educate yourself on the issue.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Naturally, as a landlord with a rental property, you want to make every effort to accommodate each of your tenants, regardless of their unique circumstances. However, how do you ascertain if a potential tenant has a disability? It’s like navigating a minefield to manage a situation like this; continue with 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 unclear how the request is related to their impairment can you ask for more details. If a person’s impairment is NOT apparent, you may request verification to affirm that the requested accommodation is related to the person’s disability. This can be provided by a physician, a non-medical service agency, a peer support group, or another trustworthy third party. Requests for medical records shouldn’t be made.
Not all individuals with disabilities will submit a request for a 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. As a property manager, you must ensure compliance with all disability-related rules and regulations. When collecting information from a person with a disability, only request the information necessary to provide a suitable modification or to ensure the safety and accessibility of the property.
You may only inquire about a person’s disability-related needs if you need to provide reasonable accommodations, like a ramp for a wheelchair or an accessible parking space. You may request emergency contact information in the event of an emergency. Asking about the breed and training of the animal is acceptable if a person with a disability has one.
You may ask for medical expert confirmation of the person’s condition if, and only if, it is unclear how the request is connected to their handicap.
It is vital to remember to treat individuals who have disabilities with dignity and respect and to avoid requesting unnecessary 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. However, certain properties are exempt from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements.
Owner-occupied private residences, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums, with no more than four units are exempt from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation standards. 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 Excellence is glad to assist you in comprehending the procedure for responding to accommodation requests. To make sure that renters with disabilities are properly accommodated, we offer tools, carry out assessments, and engage with tenants. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 919-827-1107.
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.