As a Rochester landlord with a single-family residence, you must comply with the Federal Fair Housing Act’s existing rules and regulations especially because they are very strict when it comes to enforcing such laws that prohibit discrimination in housing practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability. One such requirement to allow ‘reasonable accommodations’ not only to disabled residents but also to residents who live with or are associated with disabled individuals. The FHA prohibits housing providers from discriminating against people because of their disabilities in numerous ways. You may wonder what is ‘reasonable accommodation’ and what would ‘unreasonable’ be?
So what is ‘reasonable accommodation’? It may be for the physical elements of the rental home and might include basic modifications, such as lowering towel bars and light switches, or a smoke alarm that has flashing lights in addition to an audible alarm. Additionally, the resident would pay for both the installation and removal of these accommodations.
In addition to accommodations to the physical aspects of the residence, you may be asked to provide ‘reasonable accommodation’ on the administrative side. For example, you might have a resident with a mental disability that affects their memory. This resident might request that you call each month to remind them to pay the rent. This would be considered reasonable.
Now, how about ‘unreasonable’? One of the key considerations in this respect is whether the accommodation would impose hardship on you as a housing provider. For example, suppose you own a two-story single-family rental house and receive a request that you install an elevator for a person with a physical disability. This could be denied as it would require major construction and cost a great deal.
An unreasonable accommodation request could appear on the administrative side as well. Suppose you own a single-family residence and receive a request from a potential resident with a mental impairment to call them each morning and evening to remind them to turn the exterior lights on at night and off in the morning. This could be considered unreasonable and you as a landlord could deny this request.
Real Property Management Seacoast New Hampshire is well-versed in the Fair Housing Act requirements and how they apply to you as a Rochester landlord with a single-family residence. We can help you navigate these requirements to ensure that you are in compliance when renting to individuals with disabilities. Would you like to learn more? Please contact us online or call us at 603-343-2202 for more information.
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.