Skip to Content

Raising Questions about Reasonable Accommodations

Paramount Cleaning Dishes in the Kitchen from His WheelchairA property owner may have a lot of questions whenever a disabled tenant wants to rent a single-family home. One vital question to ask yourself is whether or not you are required to renovate your rental home to accommodate a tenant’s disability. When you know the answer to this question and are capable of handling any requests a tenant makes for renovations, you’ll discover the secret to success.

Disabled renters have many legal protections that many single-family rental property owners may not know. In reference to the Fair Housing Act, individuals with a disability are protected from discrimination when renting or buying a home, applying for a mortgage, and seeking housing assistance. So that a disabled person can live comfortably and safely, the Act also requires landlords to allow “reasonable accommodations” to be provided for in the rental house. Such as a tenant in a wheelchair may need grab bars installed in the shower or tub for easier access or install a ramp. At the same time someone with limited hand use may want to install special faucets or door handles.

With these kinds of accommodations, a significant contrast is raised between letting a tenant modify a rental house at his or her own expense and is required to do it for them. The law clearly states that a property owner should allow reasonable modifications, however, it does not require landlords to pay for them. Under the Act, your tenant should apply for prior approval from you in advance of the start of any work. You can even legally require them to return the rental house to its original condition upon moving out. In addition, you can ask your tenant for a detailed description of the proposed changes, as well as have them provide proof that the work will be performed in a satisfactory way, and make them obtain any necessary building permits or owners association approval if it is needed.

As the property owner, you cannot outright refuse reasonable accommodations or refuse to change policies or practices that would prevent a disabled tenant from using the house. This consists of requests for service animals and other accommodations that may otherwise violate the terms of your lease. This also means you absolutely cannot charge a disabled tenant more rent for making such accommodations, either. Any endeavors to set terms or conditions different from those of other tenants is a clear violation of Fair Housing laws.

Usually, renting your single-family home to a disabled tenant can be a difficult task as you navigate through the Fair Housing Act. Reading as much as you possibly can about the law and what you legally can and cannot do will do a lot to help, but the best option is to obtain help from property management professionals who have a background in renting single-family homes to tenants with disabilities.

At Real Property Management Southland, we diligently work towards the strict adherence to all requirements of the Fair Housing Act. We have the prowess and practical knowledge that can provide support to rental property owners like you. This will ensure that you are able to follow rental practices that are well within the limits of the law. Our organization of Paramount property management professionals can answer any questions you have and assist in keeping you out of legal trouble. Call us at 562-270-1777 or contact us online for more information.

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.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details