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 violated by refusing to make a reasonable accommodation. Even if unintentional, committing such an offense can cost you years in court and thousands of dollars on costly attorneys. You’ll save a lot of hassle by making the effort to educate yourself on the issue.
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; continue with caution.
If a person’s disability is evident and their request is appropriate for their condition, you should immediately grant their request. If it is unclear how the request relates to their impairment, only then should you inquire about further details regarding the request. If a person’s disability is NOT obvious, you can request supplementary documentation that the requested accommodation is related to the person’s disability. This can be provided by a physician, a non-medical service agency, a peer support group, or another trustworthy third party. Requesting medical records is inappropriate.
Not all individuals with disabilities will submit a request for a reasonable accommodation. However, anyone with a disability has the right to request or receive a reasonable modification or accommodation at any time.
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. When collecting information from a person with a disability, only request the information necessary to provide a suitable modification or to ensure the safety and accessibility 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 also have the option to ask for emergency contact information. If an individual with a disability has a support animal, you may ask about the breed and training of the animal.
You may ask for medical expert confirmation of the person’s condition if, and only if, it is unclear how the request is connected to their handicap.
It is crucial to keep in mind to show those with disabilities respect and dignity and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. Furthermore, all data you gather should be kept confidential and only shared with those who have a particular 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. The ADA’s standards for reasonable accommodations, however, do not apply to all buildings.
Owner-occupied single-family dwellings, apartments, and condominiums with no more than four units are typically 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 educated crew at Real Property Management Stellar is glad to assist you in comprehending the procedure for responding to accommodation requests. We provide resources, conduct evaluations, and interact with tenants to ensure that disabled residents are accommodated appropriately. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 404-375-4639.
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.