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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Fergus Falls?

Fergus Falls Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestNobody ever said that managing your own property is easy, as a matter of fact, the common sentiment across all states is that not only is it time-consuming, but it is also a bit confusing. There are certain codes of conduct you must abide by, and most of these are costly if you make the mistake of not doing it, one of these such rules are those governed by when you accommodate persons with disabilities. First of all, a refusal to provide reasonable accommodations can be viewed as a violation of the Fair Housing Act. You do not want to make that kind of violation, because when you do, even if done accidentally, can result in years spent in court, and dollars you would rather not part with spent on expensive attorneys. Taking some time to educate yourself on the matter can help you avoid all that unnecessary hassle.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Of course, as a landlord with a single-family residence in Fergus Falls to rent out, you want to accommodate all of your renters, regardless of their specific needs, to the best of your abilities. But how do you know if your potential renter actually has a disability? That is a very tricky thing indeed and one that you must tread carefully. Managing a situation like this can be like walking through a minefield; you must proceed with caution.

Proper treatment of a person with a disability is a wide-ranging topic, and you being the landlord need to ensure that you are following the law and making only reasonable accommodations. 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.

When a disability is less apparent, but a potential renter 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 request proof of the disability, information that verifies the disability, describes the requested accommodation, and establishes the connection between the disability and the accommodation or modification.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

If there is one thing that you need to know when renting to persons with disabilities it is that you cannot refuse to grant reasonable accommodation requests made by them. The gray area is entered when the conversation opens up to what information you can request and what is considered reasonable.  You need to know that when you deal with such requests, you have to be sensitive and careful so as not to ask unintentional discriminatory questions.

It is also 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. Also, you should be aware 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 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

In the end, know that you are not alone. At Real Property Management Optimum, 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 online or call us directly at 612-730-8293.

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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