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Have You Received a Reasonable Accommodation Request in Waco?

Waco Resident Calling the Property Manager with a Reasonable Accommodation RequestHandling 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 violation of the Fair Housing Act. Making that type of violation, even unintentionally, can lead to years spent in court and finances you’d rather not part with spent on high-priced attorneys. As always, educating yourself with these laws is the safest route and not to mention, less costly to take.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Naturally, as a landlord with a single-family rental residence in Waco, you want to accommodate all of your renters, whatever their specific needs, in any manner you can. But, how do you know if your possible renter actually has a disability? It’s truly difficult as you do not know how to proceed without accidentally offending or possibly do something that is not appropriate. You must proceed with utmost caution.

If the potential tenant does not have an easily identifiable disability but is requesting for reasonable accommodations, such as having a ramp built onto a porch or lowering towel bars, or even having the carpet changed due to severe life-threatening allergies, you can request proof of the disability. Suitable 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 it is essential that you understand both your duties and your rights.

What Information Can You Ask Your Tenants to Provide?

To begin with, know that you cannot refuse to approve reasonable accommodation requests asked for by people with disabilities (PWD). The gray area comes when the conversation opens up to what information you can ask for and what is deemed reasonable. For your own protection, it is vital to know that you can certainly request medical proof that a person suffers from a disability if that disability is not obvious straight 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 sufficient or not. You have to also 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 renting out apartments in a complex, you are not expected to make extreme changes to your home if those changes would be damaging 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

Bottom-line is, know that you are not alone. Our team at Real Property Management Talent, are highly trained, and we have well-educated staff on hand to work with you on sticky situations like these. Though you might not necessarily require property management 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 acquire help. For more information, contact us or call us directly at 254-401-0400. 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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