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Reasonable Accommodations: How Do They Affect Single-Family Rental Properties in Ransom Canyon?

Ransom Canyon Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestThe ideal resident for your rental home can easily prove to be a challenge because they come in all shapes and sizes and with some of them bearing personal challenges. These personal challenges of some residents sometimes coincide with your duties as a landlord, which is why the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is crucial. This policy covers a landlord’s liabilities and appropriate actions that are considered legal and justified.

The Fair Housing Act’s reasonable accommodation requirements are designed to protect both you and your residents against disability discrimination. The reasoning for this policy is that because of some of the implementing rules and regulations have a direct effect mostly on persons with disabilities than those without, then it would serve fair to afford them leniency. The FHA allows residents who are proven to have disabilities to then request for “reasonable accommodations” at any point in the leasing process or occupation of the property.

So, what exactly is a “reasonable” accommodation?

According to the FHA, a “reasonable” accommodation is any modification in “rules, policies, practices, or services” necessary for an individual with a disability to have equal opportunity to perform routine major life activities (for example walking, eating, sleeping) at home. This covers situations like a resident with a hearing impairment may want smoke detectors with flashing lights installed in the home. Other examples of reasonable accommodations could be:

  • Large print rental documents for the visually impaired
  • Helping someone with mental impairments fill out paperwork
  • Assigning a lower mailbox for a person in a wheelchair
  • Permitting an assistance animal (including emotional support animals) in an otherwise “no pets allowed” residence
  • Installing safety bars in showers or bathtubs

These kinds of convenience being afforded to individuals with a disability make for a “reasonable” modification if they are not only associated with the person’s disability but will also not constrain the property owner financially. More often than not, the residents are the ones who are responsible for such installation and removal of any physical alterations.

This act does not mean that property owners have to accommodate all requests by residents, in fact, such requests have to undergo a certain process to be approved. It has to be reasonable in the sense that it does not cross the border of it being too much. For example, if a resident with a phobia of dogs requests that a neighbor’s dog is removed from the property next door, this would be a clear example of an unreasonable request and can be justifiably refused. Because these requests have to be both necessary and within the property owner’s financial and administrative ability to complete, it would be logical for the landlord to provide an alternative if ever a certain request is found to be unreasonable. The landlord should be able to communicate with the resident any offers for another option that they can choose instead. The notion of “reasonable accommodation” is extensive and quite flexible, meaning there will be more than one effective solution.

In Conclusion

Dealing with such requests can sometimes burden any property owner, checking with FHA compliance can easily take up so much of your time. At Real Property Management Services, we have the expertise to guarantee you and your property will be up to the challenge of responding correctly to accommodation requests. Want to learn more? Please contact us online or call us directly at 806-853-6546.

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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