Managing your own property can be demanding. You may have somewhat discovered that there are categorical codes of conduct you must heed to accommodate persons with disabilities. Defiance to cater to reasonable accommodations can be perceived as a noncompliance of the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even unawares, can come about in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on extravagant attorneys. Taking some time to instruct yourself on the matter can help you circumvent all that unwarranted hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Doubtless, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out, you want to accommodate all of your renters, no matter what their specified 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 hopeful renter does not have an observable disability but is making a supplication 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. Rightful treatment of a person with a disability is an exhaustive topic, and you don’t want to result in on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is major to be aware of both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
Before anything, be aware that you cannot brush off 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 worthwhile to apprehend for your own protection that you can definitely request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not readily 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. Besides, you should grasp that you are not bound to bestow any accommodation to anyone that would present a financial ordeal on you as a landlord. Because you are not a 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
Wrapping up, know that you are not in isolation. At Real Property Management South Orlando, we have highly skilled and professional staff on hand to work with you on troublesome situations like these ones. While you may not obligatorily need property management to supervise all areas of your rental business, in terms of 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 407-982-2000. That is, once and for all, 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.