Owning your own property can be challenging to manage. You may have only recently learned that certain behavior standards must be adhered to to accommodate those with disabilities. The refusal to provide a reasonable accommodation may constitute a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Even if it’s inadvertent, committing that sort of infringement can lead to years in court and money you’d rather not spend on costly lawyers. Familiarizing yourself with this topic can spare you a great deal of trouble.
What is a Reasonable Request?
Of course, as a landlord with a place to rent, you want to make every effort to accommodate every one of your tenants, regardless of their unique situation. But how can you tell whether a potential tenant is disabled? It’s like navigating a minefield to manage a situation like this and thus requires caution to proceed.
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. You can request verification to ensure the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s impairment if their disability is NOT immediately apparent. The provision of this can be made by a physician, peer support group, non-medical service organization, or other trustworthy third party. Requesting medical documents is improper, so don’t do it.
Not all people with disabilities will require reasonable accommodation. All people with disabilities, however, have 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 about people with disabilities 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.
You are limited to asking for information about the individual’s disability-related necessities to offer them a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking location. You also have the option to ask for emergency contact information. You can find out the breed and training of an assistance animal if a person with a disability has one.
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 respect and decency to people with disabilities and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. In addition, all data should be kept private and shared only with those who truly 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. However, the ADA’s requirements for reasonable accommodations do not apply to all buildings.
Owner-occupied private properties with no more than four units, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums, are often exempt from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements. However, under some state and local fair housing laws, landlords may still be obligated to make reasonable modifications.
We’re Here to Help
The knowledgeable staff of Real Property Management Metro Detroit is anxious to assist you in comprehending the process of responding to accommodation requests. To guarantee that renters with disabilities are properly accommodated, we offer resources, carry out assessments, and engage with tenants. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 248-808-6550.
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.