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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Jones?

Man with disability and his service dog providing assistance. It can be difficult to manage your own property. You may have only recently realized that certain standards of conduct must be adhered to to accommodate persons with disabilities. Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation may constitute a Fair Housing Act violation. Even if unintentional, committing this type of infraction can cost you years in court and a lot of money 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. But how can you discover if a potential renter is disabled? It’s like navigating a minefield to manage a situation like this and thus requires caution to proceed.

You ought to grant someone’s request immediately and quickly if their disability is evident and it pertains to that condition. If it isn’t clear how the request relates to their handicap, only then can you ask for further details about it. If a person’s impairment is NOT apparent, you may request verification to affirm that the requested accommodation is related to the person’s disability. A physician, peer support group, non-medical service organization, or other trustworthy third parties can offer this. Requests for medical records shouldn’t be made.

Not every person with a disability will need to ask for reasonable accommodation. The right to request or receive a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification is, however, a fundamental human right that all people with disabilities have access to at all times.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

Upon receiving a request for a reasonable accommodation or modification, you will likely be inquisitive about the nature of your accommodation. You must make sure that you abide by all applicable disability laws and standards as a property manager. When collecting details from a person with a disability, only request the information necessary to provide a reasonable accommodation or to ensure the safety and accessibility of the property.

To set up an appropriate modification, such as a wheelchair ramp or an accessible parking space, you may just ask for information about the person’s disability-related needs. You can request emergency contact information in the event of an emergency. You can find out the breed and training of an assistance animal if a person with a disability has one.

You may also request confirmation of the person’s disability from a healthcare professional if, and only if, it is unclear how the request relates to their disability.

It’s important to keep in mind that people with disabilities should always be treated with respect and decency, and questions about their lives should never be intrusive or unwarranted. 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) mandates that most public, private, and rental establishments in the United States provide accessible features and services to people with disabilities who request them. However, the ADA’s requirements for reasonable accommodations do not apply to all buildings.

The ADA’s requirements for reasonable accommodations are typically waived for privately owned homes that have no more than four units, including single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. 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 experienced staff at Real Property Management Elevate is ready to explain to you the procedure for handling accommodation requests. We provide resources, conduct evaluations, and interact with tenants to accommodate renters with disabilities. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 405-876-7611.

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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