Managing your own property can be difficult. You may have hardly ever understood that there are set codes of conduct you must obey to accommodate persons with disabilities. Rejection to furnish reasonable accommodations can be regarded as an infraction of the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even unintentionally, can end in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on costly attorneys. Taking some time to teach yourself on the matter can help you evade all that unneeded hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Naturally, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out in Raleigh, you want to accommodate all of your renters, impartial to their particular 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 possible renter does not have an evident disability but is making a petition 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. Right treatment of a person with a disability is a broad topic, and you don’t want to finish up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is significant to apprehend both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
Firstly, recognize that you cannot deny 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 noteworthy to understand for your own protection that you can really request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not instantly 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. In addition, you should bear in mind that you are not liable for granting any accommodation to anyone that would put a financial load on you as a landlord. Because you are not 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
Ultimately, know that you are not on your own. At Real Property Management Excellence, we have highly skilled and learned staff on hand to work with you on tricky situations like these ones. While you may not, of necessity, need property management to manage all areas of your rental business in regards to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can feel complex and rigid at the same time, get help. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 919-827-1107. That is, in the end, 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.