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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Orlo Vista?

Orlo Vista Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestManaging your own property is challenging. There are many regulations you must abide by, rules that are non-negotiable and other existing bylaws that you may not know yet. You may have only just realized that there are certain codes of conduct you must follow to accommodate persons with disabilities. Refusal to provide reasonable accommodations can be viewed as a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Making that kind of violation, even accidentally, can result in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on expensive attorneys. It is always best to devote time to educate yourself on the matter so that you can avoid all that unnecessary hassle.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Of course, as a landlord with a single-family residence to rent out in Orlo Vista, you want to accommodate all of your renters, regardless of their specific needs, in any way you can. But how do you know if your potential renter actually has a disability? This is when it gets a bit tricky. Managing a situation like this can be like walking through a minefield; you must proceed with caution because you do not want to say and do things that would result in a lawsuit.

If the situation that you are faced with is a potential renter who does not have an obvious disability but is making a request 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 always request proof of the disability. Remember though that you mustn’t ask questions about the nature of a disability.

As long as you steer clear of any statements and actions that are obviously derogatory in nature and offensive, you will be fine. Just make sure that you treat a person with a disability fairly, since it is common knowledge that the treatment of PWDs is a wide-ranging topic. You don’t want to end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, so it is important to understand both your obligations and your rights.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

First, realize that you cannot refuse 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 important to know for your own protection that you can indeed request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if the said disability is not immediately 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. If you cannot grant such requests, then you have to discuss options for alternative accommodation, and if viable, provide the alternative.

Remember that you are not responsible for providing any accommodation to anyone that would place a financial burden on you as a landlord. Because you are not 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 fewer 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

In the end, know that you are not alone. At Real Property Management Freedom, we have highly trained and well-educated staff on hand to work with you on sticky situations like these ones. While you may not necessarily need property management to handle all areas of your rental business when it comes 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 407-624-4706. That is, after all, what we are here for.

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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