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. It can be illegal to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. 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?
Without question, as a landlord with a rental property, you want to accommodate your tenants in any way attainable, regardless of their specific needs. However, how can you tell if a potential tenant has a disability? It’s like navigating a minefield to manage a situation like this and thus requires caution to proceed.
You should quickly grant a request if a person’s impairment is obvious and it is pertinent to that condition. Only if it is unclear how the request is related to their impairment can you ask for more details. If a person’s disability is NOT obvious, you can request supplementary documentation that the requested accommodation is related to the person’s disability. One can get this from several trustworthy sources, including medical professionals, peer support groups, non-medical service agencies, and others. You shouldn’t ask for medical records.
Not every disabled person will need to ask for 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 interested to learn more about your accommodation when you get a request for a reasonable adjustment or accommodation. You must make sure to abide by all laws and guidelines pertaining to people with disabilities as a property manager. Ask a person with a disability only the information that is necessary to make reasonable accommodations or to ensure the accessibility and safety of the property.
You may only request information about the individual’s disability-related requirements to provide a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking spot. You can ask for emergency contact information in case of an emergency. You can enquire about the breed and training of an assistance animal if the owner is a person with a disability.
If, and only if, it is uncertain how the request relates to the person’s disability, you may request confirmation from a healthcare professional.
It is crucial to keep in mind to show those with disabilities respect and dignity and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. Additionally, all data should be kept private and only given to people who truly need to know.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the majority of properties in the United States, including commercial properties, rental properties, and public accommodations, to comply with reasonable accommodation requests from individuals 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. 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 competent staff at Real Property Management South Orlando is eager to explain the procedure for handling 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 407-982-2000.
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.