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Raising Questions about Reasonable Accommodations

Canoga Park Cleaning Dishes in the Kitchen from His WheelchairRenting out a single-family home to a disabled tenant raises a number of questions for property owners. The most important question is whether or not you are required to renovate your rental home to accommodate a tenant’s disability. By possessing the answer to this question, and understanding how to handle any requests a tenant makes for renovations, is the key to your success.

Disabled renters have many legal protections that single-family rental property owners need to be made aware of. Pertaining 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. The Act also requires landlords to allow “reasonable accommodations” to be provided for in the rental home so that a disabled person can live comfortably and safely. Some examples could be that someone with limited hand use may want to install special faucets or door handles meanwhile a tenant in a wheelchair may want to install grab bars in the shower or tub for easier access or install a ramp.

These sorts of accommodations detail the necessary distinction between giving tenant permission to modify a rental house at his or her own expense and is required to do it for them. Although the law clearly states that a property owner should allow reasonable modifications, it does not require landlords to pay for them. Under the Act and in advance of the start of any work, your tenant has to get prior approval from you. Also, you can legally require them to return the rental house to its original condition upon moving out. Additionally, you can ask your tenant for a detailed description of the proposed changes, make them provide proof that the project will be executed suitably, and demand that they obtain any necessary building permits or owners association approval.

Nevertheless, since you are 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. Requests for service animals and other accommodations that may otherwise violate the terms of your lease are also included. Moreover, you absolutely cannot charge a disabled tenant more rent for making such accommodations. You’ll be in clear violation of Fair Housing laws if you attempt to set terms or conditions different from those of other tenants.

Oftentimes, negotiating through the Fair Housing Act while renting your single-family home to a disabled tenant is a huge obstacle. Studying the law and knowing what you legally can and cannot do can aid you quite a bit. In fact, the optimum choice is to have the backing of property management professionals who have practical knowledge when it comes to leasing single-family homes to tenants with disabilities.

Everyone at Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley, are wholeheartedly committed to the strict adherence to all requirements of the Fair Housing Act. We have the proficiency and ability to assist rental property owners like you follow rental practices that are well within the limits of the law. Our Canoga Park property management professionals can help answer any of your questions and keep you out of legal trouble. Contact us online or call us at 818-727-0100 to know how we can help you.

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.