Managing your own property can be exhausting. You may have barely noticed that there are real codes of conduct you must conform to in order to accommodate persons with disabilities. Withholding to serve reasonable accommodations can be considered as a defiance of the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even unknowingly, can turn into years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on ultra-expensive attorneys. Taking some time to familiarize yourself with this matter can help you fend off all that avoidable hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
For sure, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out in Baton Rouge, you want to accommodate all of your renters, regardless of their peculiar 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 would-be-renter does not have a noticeable disability but is asking a request 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. Valid treatment of a person with a disability is an all-pervading topic, and you don’t want to appear on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is consequential to figure out both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
For one thing, be informed that you cannot snub requests to grant 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 of importance to take in for your own protection that you can, for sure, request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not completely 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. In like manner, you should realize that you are not required to administer any accommodation to anyone that would risk a financial concern 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
Conclusively, know that you are not unattended. At Real Property Management Baton Rouge, we have highly skillful and well-informed staff on hand to work with you on complicated situations like these ones. While you may not pleasingly need property management to work all areas of your rental business, in the case 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 online or call us directly at 225-389-6860.