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Raising Questions about Reasonable Accommodations

South Meadows Tenant Cleaning Dishes in the Kitchen from His WheelchairWhenever a disabled tenant is renting a single-family home, a property owner may have quite a number of questions that need answering. Whether or not you are required to renovate your rental home to accommodate a tenant’s disability is an important question to ask yourself. Once you have the solution to this question and can handle any requests a tenant makes for renovations, you’ll find that you’re on the path to success.

Many single-family rental property owners may not know that disabled renters have many legal protections that keep them safe. Pertaining to the Fair Housing Act, individuals with a disability are protected from discrimination when renting or buying a home, applying for a mortgage, and seeking housing assistance. The Act also requires landlords to allow “reasonable accommodations” so a disabled person can live comfortably and safely in a rental home. As an illustration, a tenant with limited hand use could need special faucets or door handles installed and a tenant in a wheelchair could also want to install grab bars in the shower or tub for easier access or install a ramp. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to want to offer your potential tenant information on assisted living.

These accommodations detail the difference between authorizing a tenant to modify a rental house at his or her own expense and is required to do it for them. While the law clearly states that a property owner should allow reasonable modifications, nevertheless it does not require landlords to pay for them. Under the Act and ahead of any work beginning, your tenant ought to request prior approval from you and you can even legally require them to return the rental house to its original condition upon moving out. Likewise, you can have your tenant give a detailed description of the proposed changes, request that they provide proof that the task will be completed satisfactorily, and ask them to obtain any necessary building permits or owners association approval.

Meanwhile, as the property owner, you cannot outright refuse reasonable accommodations or refuse to change policies or practices that would prevent a disabled tenant from using the house. This consists of requests for service animals and other accommodations that may otherwise violate the terms of your lease. You absolutely cannot charge a disabled tenant more rent for customized accommodations, as well. Don’t even attempt to set terms or conditions different from those of other tenants because you’ll find yourself in clear violation of Fair Housing laws.

Frequently, renting out your single-family home to a disabled tenant can be a challenge as you maneuver through the Fair Housing Act. Researching as much as you can about the law and what you legally can and cannot do can only do so much. The appropriate option to select is to secure aid from property management professionals that understand how to lease single-family homes to tenants with disabilities.

At Real Property Management Corazon, we are keen to stick to strict adherence to all requirements of the Fair Housing Act. We have the knowledge and the necessary background that can be of service to rental property owners like you. This can help you follow rental practices that are well within the limits of the law. Our South Meadows property management professionals can help answer any of your questions and keep you out of legal trouble. For more information, contact us online or call us at 775-826-1414.

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.

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