It can be difficult to manage your own property. You may have only recently realized that certain standards of conduct must be adhered to to accommodate persons with disabilities. Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation may constitute a Fair Housing Act violation. Even if unintentional, committing this type of infraction can cost you years in court and a lot of money on costly attorneys. You will avoid a lot of trouble if you make the effort to educate yourself on the issue.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Of course, as a landlord with a place to rent, you want to make every effort to accommodate each one of your tenants, regardless of their unique situation. But how can you tell whether a potential tenant is disabled? Managing such a scenario is analogous to traversing a minefield; proceed with prudence.
If a person’s disability is evident and their request is appropriate for their condition, you should immediately grant their request. Only if it is unclear how the request is related to their impairment can you ask for more details. Asking for verification will allow you to confirm that the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s disability if their impairment is NOT immediately apparent. 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 people with disabilities will require reasonable accommodation. Nonetheless, individuals with disabilities have the right to request or receive reasonable modifications or accommodations 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 that you abide by all applicable disability laws and standards as a property manager. When collecting details from a person with a disability, only request the information necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation or to ensure the safety and accessibility of the property.
To set up an appropriate modification, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking space, you may just ask for information about the person’s disability-related needs. You can ask for emergency contact details in case of an emergency. If an individual with a disability has a support animal, you may ask about the breed and training of the animal.
You may request proof of the person’s condition from a medical practitioner if—and only if—it is unclear how the request is connected to their disability.
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, certain properties are exempt from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements.
The ADA’s requirements for reasonable accommodations are typically waived for privately owned homes that have no more than four units, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. The state and local fair housing laws may, however, nevertheless impose restrictions on landlords, requiring them to make reasonable concessions in some circumstances.
We’re Here to Help
The experienced staff at Real Property Management Baton Rouge is ready to explain to you the procedure for handling accommodation requests. We provide resources, conduct evaluations, and interact with tenants to accommodate renters with disabilities. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 225-389-6860.
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.