Managing one’s own property can be challenging. You might have just lately realized that certain standards of conduct must be adhered to in order to accommodate persons who have disabilities. The Fair Housing Act may be broken if reasonable accommodations are not made. Even accidentally breaking that rule might lead to years in court and money you’d rather not spend on pricey lawyers. Making the time to learn about this issue will save you a lot of grief in the future.
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 can you tell 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 impairment is clear and their request relates to that condition, you should grant it immediately. If it isn’t clear how the request relates to their handicap, only then can you ask for further details about it. You can request verification to ensure the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s impairment if their disability is NOT immediately apparent. A physician, peer support group, non-medical service organization, or other trustworthy third parties can offer this. Requests for medical records shouldn’t be made.
Not all individuals with disabilities will submit a request for a reasonable accommodation. The right to request or receive a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification is, however, a fundamental human right that all people with disabilities have access to at all times.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
You might be eager to learn more about your accommodation after you get a request for one or hear of a reasonable change. As a property manager, you must ensure compliance with all disability-related rules and regulations. Ask a person with a disability only the information that is necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation or to ensure the accessibility and safety of the property.
You are limited to asking for information about the individual’s disability-related necessities in order to offer them a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking location. You can ask for emergency contact information in case of an emergency. You can find out the breed and training of an assistance animal if a person with a disability has one.
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 crucial to keep in mind to show respect and decency to people with disabilities and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. In addition, all data should be kept private and shared only with those who truly need to know.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the majority of properties in the United States, including commercial properties, rental properties, and public accommodations, are required to accede to requests for reasonable accommodations from people with disabilities. However, the ADA’s reasonable accommodation standards do not apply to all properties.
Owner-occupied private properties with no more than four units, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums, are often exempt from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements. In certain instances, however, state and local fair housing regulations may still require landlords to provide reasonable accommodations.
We’re Here to Help
The skilled staff at Real Property Management Eclipse is eager to explain the procedure for fulfilling accommodation requests to you. 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 425-209-0252.
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.