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St. Petersburg Landlords: What is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ for Disabled Tenants?

A Beautiful Single Level Home with Reasonable Accommodations for a Disabled Resident in St Petersburg

As a St. Petersburg landlord with a single-family residence, you must observe the Federal Fair Housing Act’s requirement to allow ‘reasonable accommodations’ not only to disabled tenants but also to tenants who stay with or are associated with disabled persons. However, what is a ‘reasonable accommodation’ and what would ‘unreasonable’ be?

To start with, a ‘reasonable accommodation’ could be the physical components of the rental property and might include simple modifications like lowering towel bars and light switches or installing a smoke alarm that has flashing lights and an audible sound. The tenant would pay for both the installation and removal of these accommodations.

Besides accommodations concerning the physical aspects of the property, they might ask you to give ‘reasonable accommodation’ on the administrative side. For instance, you might have a tenant with a mental disability affecting their memory. This tenant might ask that you call every month to remind them to pay rent. This kind of request is reasonable.

Now, let’s explore an example of what is considered ‘unreasonable.’ One of the main considerations in this respect is if the accommodation would inflict hardship on you as a housing provider. For example, what if you own a two-story single-family rental home and receive a request that you install an elevator for a person with a physical disability? This could be rejected as it requires major construction and would be very costly.

An unreasonable accommodation request can emerge on the administrative side as well. Suppose you have a single-family residence and get a request from a potential tenant with a mental impairment to call them every morning and evening to remind them to turn the outdoor lights off in the morning and on at night. This would be considered unreasonable, and, as a landlord, you could deny this request.

Real Property Management TradeWinds is very knowledgeable about the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and how it can affect you as a St. Petersburg landlord with a single-family residence. We can help you deal with these requirements to make sure that you are in compliance when renting to persons with disabilities. Do you want to learn more? Please contact us online or call us at 727-400-4722 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.

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