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Raising Questions about Reasonable Accommodations

Harker Heights Tenant Cleaning Dishes in the Kitchen from His WheelchairRenting a single-family home to a disabled tenant could bring up plenty of questions and concerns for property owners. Most probably the key question is whether or not you are required to renovate your rental home to accommodate a tenant’s disability. Finding out the answer to this question, and how to handle any requests a tenant makes for renovations, is central to good results and even success.

Disabled renters have many legal protections that single-family rental property owners must be familiar with. In accordance with 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 carried out in the rental house in order for a disabled person to live comfortably and safely. For illustration, a tenant in a wheelchair may look to install grab bars in the shower or tub for easier access or install a ramp, and anyone with limited hand use might like to install special faucets or door handles.

These classes of accommodations suggest a significant difference between approving a tenant to modify a rental house at his or her own expense and are required to do it for them. Even supposing the law clearly states that a property owner should allow reasonable modifications, it does not require landlords to pay for them. Under the Act, your tenant needs to petition prior approval from you just before work on any additions start, and you can likewise legally require them to return the rental house to its original condition upon moving out. You could similarly call on your tenant for a detailed description of the proposed changes, charge them to provide proof that the activity must be fulfilled in a professional approach, and compel them to obtain any necessary building permits or owners association approval where relevant.

Nonetheless, 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 encloses requests for service animals and various other accommodations that may otherwise violate the terms of your lease. You absolutely cannot charge a disabled tenant more rent for bringing about those accommodations, either. Whatever undertakings to set terms or conditions that vary greatly from those of other tenants are a clear violation of Fair Housing laws.

As you can observe, going by the Fair Housing Act while at the same time renting your single-family home to a disabled tenant may be a challenge and a problem. Even supposing you essentially know much in terms of the law and what you legally can and cannot do could do so much to be of use, the best decision is to have professional help from property management professionals with much experience in leasing single-family homes to tenants with disabilities.

At Real Property Management Apex, we are totally committed to strict adherence to all requirements of the Fair Housing Act. We have the skills and know-how to assist rental property owners such as you to follow rental practices that are well within the limits of the law. Our team of Harker Heights property management professionals could greatly help to hold you back out of legal trouble and enable you to respond well to any other questions or considerations that should crop up. Contact us online or call us at 254-732-1599 for more useful information and details.

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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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