It can be difficult to manage your own property. You may have only recently learned that certain behavioral standards must be adhered to in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act may be broken if reasonable accommodations are not made. Even if unintentional, committing such an offense can cost you years in court and thousands of dollars on costly attorneys. Making the time to learn about this issue will save you a lot of grief in the future.
What is a Reasonable Request?
No matter what their unique circumstances may be, as a landlord with a rental property, you naturally want to make accommodations for all of your tenants. However, how can you tell if a potential tenant has a disability? A situation like this requires careful management because it is like going through a minefield.
You ought to grant someone’s request immediately and quickly if their disability is evident and it pertains to that condition. Only if it is uncertain how the request relates to their disability can you request additional information about the request. If a person’s impairment is NOT immediately apparent, you can request verification to ensure that the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s disability. This can be given by a medical professional, peer support group, non-medical service organization, or other trustworthy third party. Requesting medical records is inappropriate.
Not every person with a disability will need to ask for reasonable accommodation. However, anyone with a disability has 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 eager to learn more about your accommodation after you get a request for one or hear of a reasonable change. You must make sure that you abide by all applicable disability laws and standards as a property manager. Ask a person with a disability only the information that is necessary to make reasonable accommodations or to ensure the accessibility and safety of the property.
You may only request information about the individual’s disability-related requirements to provide a reasonable accommodation, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking spot. You can ask for emergency contact information in case of an emergency. You can enquire about the breed and training of an assistance animal if the owner is a person with a disability.
If, and only if, it is uncertain how the request relates to the person’s disability, you may request confirmation from a healthcare professional.
It is crucial to keep in mind to show those with disabilities respect and dignity and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. All information should also be kept private and only given to those 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. The reasonable accommodation requirements of the ADA, however, do not apply to all properties.
Owner-occupied private residences, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums, with no more than four units are excluded from the ADA’s reasonable accommodation rules. 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 skilled staff at Real Property Management Utah County is eager to explain the procedure for fulfilling accommodation requests to you. We provide resources, conduct evaluations, and interact with tenants to ensure that disabled residents are accommodated appropriately. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 801-224-0033.
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.