Managing your own property can be trying. You may have scarcely noticed that there are actual codes of conduct you must comply with to accommodate persons with disabilities. Declining to put up reasonable accommodations can be interpreted as a disregard of the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even by mistake, can lead into years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on high priced attorneys. Taking some time to cause yourself to understand the matter can help you prevent all that meaningless hassle.
What is a Reasonable Request?
For certain, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out, you want to accommodate all of your renters, without regard to their clearly defined needs, in any way you can. But how do you know if your potential renter actually has a disability? Managing a situation like this can be like walking through a minefield; you must proceed with caution.
If the renter-to be does not have a recognizable disability but is making an insistence for reasonable accommodations, like having a ramp built onto a porch or having towel bars lowered, or even having the carpet replaced due to severe life-threatening allergies, you can request proof of the disability. Acceptable treatment of a person with a disability is a far-reaching topic, and you don’t want to land up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is necessary to find out both your obligations and your rights.
What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?
From the outset, figure out that you cannot shut out requests to grant reasonable accommodation requests made by a person with disabilities. The gray area is entered when the conversation opens up to what information you can request and what is considered reasonable. It is of import to be informed for your own protection that you can precisely request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not actually obvious. A doctor’s note must be provided, and, in the result of a dispute, only the Department of Housing and Urban Development can determine whether the proof is sufficient or not. Not only that but also, you should know that you are not under obligation to confer any accommodation to anyone that would put down a financial liability on you as a landlord. Because you are not a renting out apartments in a complex, you will not be expected to make major changes to your home if those changes would be detrimental to your financial situation.
Are Your Properties Exempt?
Single-family homes rented without the use of a real estate agent or advertising are exempt from the federal Fair Housing Act as long as the private landlord/owner doesn’t own more than three homes at the time. Apartments of four units or less are also exempt if the owner lives in one of the units. However, even if this multi-family exemption applies to you, your rental advertising must still comply with the Act. Other exemptions include the rental of a single room in a home, qualified senior housing, and housing operated by religious or private organizations if certain requirements are met.
We’re Here to Help
Lastly, know that you are not left on your own devices. At Real Property Management Greater Milwaukee, we have highly equipped and seasoned staff on hand to work with you on burdensome situations like these ones. While you may not basically need property management to take care of all areas of your rental business, in relation to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can feel complex and rigid at the same time, get help. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 262-309-6961.
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.