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Raising Questions about Reasonable Accommodations

Woodward Tenant Cleaning Dishes in the Kitchen from His WheelchairShould a disabled tenant desire to rent a single-family home, property owners will have a lot of questions that need answering. One vital question to ask yourself is whether or not you are required to renovate your rental home to accommodate a tenant’s disability. The key to your success is by possessing the answer to this question and knowing how to handle any requests a tenant makes for renovations.

Disabled renters have many legal protections that many single-family rental property owners may not know. Using the Fair Housing Act as a basis, individuals with a disability are protected from discrimination when renting or buying a home, applying for a mortgage, and seeking housing assistance. So that a disabled person can live comfortably and safely, the Act also requires landlords to allow “reasonable accommodations” to be provided for in the rental house. As an illustration, a tenant with limited hand use could need special faucets or door handles installed and a tenant in a wheelchair could also want to install grab bars in the shower or tub for easier access or install a ramp.

These types of accommodations show a crucial difference between permitting a tenant to modify a rental house at his or her own expense and is required to do it for them. While the law clearly states that a property owner should allow reasonable modifications, nevertheless it does not require landlords to pay for them. Under the Act and ahead of any work beginning, your tenant ought to request prior approval from you and you can even legally require them to return the rental house to its original condition upon moving out. Additionally, you can ask your tenant for a detailed description of the proposed changes, make them provide proof that the project will be executed suitably, and demand that they obtain any necessary building permits or owners association approval.

Meanwhile, as the property owner, you cannot outright refuse reasonable accommodations or refuse to change policies or practices that would prevent a disabled tenant from using the house. Requests for service animals and other accommodations that may otherwise violate the terms of your lease are also included. You absolutely cannot charge a disabled tenant more rent for customized accommodations, as well. You’ll be in clear violation of Fair Housing laws if you attempt to set terms or conditions different from those of other tenants.

Oftentimes, negotiating through the Fair Housing Act while renting your single-family home to a disabled tenant is a huge obstacle. Researching as much as you can about the law and what you legally can and cannot do can only do so much. The appropriate option to select is to secure aid from property management professionals that understand how to lease single-family homes to tenants with disabilities.

Real Property Management Platinum is resolute in adhering strictly to all requirements of the Fair Housing Act. We have the prowess and practical knowledge that can provide support to rental property owners like you. This will ensure that you are able to follow rental practices that are well within the limits of the law. Our group of Woodward property management professionals will come to your aid by keeping you out of legal trouble and answer any questions that you may have. Contact us online or call us at 559-425-8550 to speak with a representative.

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.