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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Largo?

Largo Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation

Managing your own property can be a challenge. You might have just realized that there are specific codes of conduct you need to follow to accommodate persons with disabilities. Refusal to give reasonable accommodations can be seen as a Fair Housing Act violation. Making that type of violation, even unintentionally, can lead to years spent in court and money spent on high-priced attorneys. Spending some time to educate yourself on the matter can help you escape all that unnecessary stress.

What is a Reasonable Request?

As a landlord with a single-family property to rent out in Largo, you want to accommodate all of your renters, regardless of their particular needs, but how do you know if your potential tenant truly has a disability? Handling a situation like this can be like going through a minefield; you must proceed with caution.

If the potential tenant does not have an easily identifiable disability but is requesting reasonable accommodations, such as having a ramp built onto a porch, lowering towel bars, or even having the carpet changed due to severe life-threatening allergies, you can request proof of the disability. Appropriate treatment of a person with a disability is an extensive topic, and you don’t want to end up on the bad end of a lawsuit, so understanding both your obligations and your rights is crucial.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

First, recognize that you cannot deny reasonable accommodation requests made by people with disabilities. The gray area surfaces when the conversation opens to what information you can ask for and what is deemed reasonable. Know that you can request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if that disability is not obvious right away. A doctor’s note should be provided, and if there is a dispute, only the Department of Housing and Urban Development can decide whether the proof is enough or not. You should also be mindful that you are not responsible for setting up any accommodation that would put a financial burden on you. Because you are not a renting out apartments in a complex, you are not expected to perform major changes to your property if those changes would be harmful to your finances.

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

Know that you are not alone. At Real Property Management TradeWinds, we have highly trained and knowledgeable staff available to work with you on complicated situations like these. Though you might not necessarily require a property management team to deal with all aspects of your rental business, when it comes to the federal government and adhering to regulations that can be complex and rigid all at once, you should find help. For more information, contact us online or call us directly at 727-400-4722.

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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