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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in The Woodlands?

Woodlands Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestIt is never easy to be an owner and to manage your property at the same time. You could have just realized that there are specific codes of conduct you must observe to accommodate persons with disabilities. Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations is ground for violation of the Fair Housing Act. Committing that kind of violation, even if not done on purpose, means years of battling it out in court, and dollars you would rather not spend on expensive attorneys. Taking some time to read up on the matter could help you avoid all that needless hassle.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Naturally, as a landlord with a single-family rental property in The Woodlands, you want to accommodate all of your residents, whatever their particular needs, in any manner you can. But, how do you know if your potential tenant truly has a disability? Handling this kind of a situation can be like going through a minefield; you have to proceed with caution.

If the hopeful renter does not have an observable disability but is putting in a request 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. Proper handling of a person with a disability is a topic with a huge scope, and you don’t want to get on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is important to know both your rights and your responsibilities.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

To start with, recognize that you cannot deny reasonable accommodation requests made by people with disabilities. The gray area comes when the conversation opens up to what information you can ask for and what is deemed reasonable. For your own protection, it is crucial to know that you can really request medical proof that a person has a disability if the said disability is not immediately apparent. A doctor’s note must be submitted, and should a dispute arise, only the Department of Housing and Urban Development can determine whether the proof is adequate or not. Also, you have to be aware that you are not responsible for setting up any accommodation to anyone that would be a burden on your finances on you as a landlord. As you are not renting out apartments in a complex, you are not expected to perform major changes to your property if those changes would be harmful 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

Ultimately, know that you are not alone. At Real Property Management Republic, we have well-trained and well-educated staff on hand aid you in handling sticky situations such as these. While you might not necessarily need property management to handle all parts of your rental business, when it dealing with the federal government and adhering to regulations that can be complex and rigid at the same time, you should get aid. For additional information, contact us or call us directly at 281-362-5001. That is, after all, what we are here for.

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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