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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Spring?

Man with disability and his service dog providing assistance. Managing your own property can be hard. You may have only recently learned that certain behavior standards must be adhered to in order to accommodate those with disabilities. The Fair Housing Act may be broken if reasonable accommodations are not made. Even accidentally breaking that rule might lead to years in court and money you’d rather not spend on pricey 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 each and every one of your tenants, regardless of their unique situation. However, how do you ascertain if a potential tenant has a disability? A situation like this requires careful management because it is like going through a minefield.

You should quickly grant a request if a person’s impairment is obvious and it is pertinent to that condition. Only if it is uncertain how the request relates to their disability can you request additional information about the request. Asking for verification will allow you to confirm that the requested accommodation is connected to the person’s disability if their impairment 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 every disabled person will need to ask for reasonable accommodation. Nevertheless, 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 interested in learning more about your accommodation after you get a request for one or learn of a reasonable change. As a property manager, you must ensure compliance with all disability-related rules and regulations. Only request information that is necessary to make a reasonable accommodation or to ensure the accessibility and safety of the property when interviewing a person with a disability.

You may only inquire about a person’s disability-related needs if you need to provide reasonable accommodations, like a ramp for a wheelchair or an accessible parking space. You may request emergency contact information in the event of an emergency. Asking about the breed and training of the animal is acceptable if a person with a disability has one.

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 respect and decency to people with disabilities and to refrain from prying or making needless inquiries. Additionally, all data should be kept private and only given to people 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. However, the ADA’s reasonable accommodation standards 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. However, under certain circumstances, state and local fair housing laws may still oblige landlords to make reasonable modifications.

We’re Here to Help

The skilled staff at Real Property Management Republic is eager to explain the procedure for fulfilling accommodation requests to you. To make sure that renters with disabilities are properly accommodated, we offer tools, carry out assessments, and engage with tenants. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 281-362-5001.

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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