Managing your own property can be formidable. You may have recently grasped that there are distinct codes of conduct you must pursue to accommodate persons with disabilities. Negation to offer reasonable accommodations can be seen as an infringement on the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even by chance, can affect in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on high-priced attorneys. Taking some time to enlighten yourself on the matter can help you shun all that needless hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Certainly, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out in Royal Oak, you want to accommodate all of your renters, independent of their special 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 likely renter does not have a clear disability but is making an appeal 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. Correct treatment of a person with a disability is a comprehensive topic, and you don’t want to turn out to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is crucial to know both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
To begin with, get the idea that you cannot turn down granting 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 necessary to realize for your own protection that you can actually request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not right away 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. Moreover, you should understand that you are not accountable for furnishing any accommodation to anyone that would lay a financial encumbrance 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
Finally, know that you are not by yourself. At Real Property Management Metro Detroit, we have highly prepared and knowledgeable staff on hand to work with you on tough situations like these ones. While you may not fundamentally need property management to deal with all areas of your rental business, in response to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can feel complex and rigid at the same time, get help. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 248-808-6550.