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Reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Landlord/Tenant Concerns |

As a landlord, you have a set of obligations to your tenant. Understanding your responsibilities can help prevent common disputes between landlords and tenants. For example, your tenants may ask you to provide accommodations due to a disability, but if you do not know your obligation, it could lead to misunderstandings or conflict.

Your tenants have a right to reasonable accommodations, but you have to understand what that means before you can provide accommodations.

Providing accommodations for your tenants

Accommodations can include a change of policy or modifications to the unit. For example, if you do not allow pets in the home, but your tenant has a service animal, you cannot enforce the “no animals” rule. Instead, you must make an exception for the service animal to live in the home with your tenant.

When providing accommodations, you cannot charge the tenant extra money. The accommodations should allow the person to enjoy the property as able-bodied people do. When making accommodations, it should be a reasonable request that you can fulfill and will not unfairly cost you.

Allowing for modifications within the unit

If necessary, your tenant may ask if he or she can make modifications to the home. For example, if a tenant requires grab bars in the bathroom, you should allow him or her to install them for safety. Denying a person reasonable accommodations may look like discrimination.

When it comes to tenants with disabilities, having a discussion about accommodations and your tenant’s needs can help smooth over any potential conflict.