Common Reasonable Accommodation Requests

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Fair Housing Act, amended in 1988, requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations in their policies or rules to afford people with disabilities the right to use and enjoy their housing on equal terms with non-disabled tenants. The most common reasonable accommodations include:
  
Service and Support Animals
While housing providers can establish a “no-pet policy” for their properties, tenants with disabilities who require the use of a service or emotional support animal for medical purposes, are entitled to an exception to the rule.

Unit Transfers
Tenants with disabilities can request to be transferred to another available unit of equal value, if the transfer is medically necessary. For instance, a tenant with a worsening physical disability should be allowed to transfer from their third-floor unit to a similar ground floor unit due to difficulties climbing the stairs.

Caregivers
Tenants with disabilities may find it medically necessary to have a 24-hour caregiver live in their unit. A request to have a live-in caregiver must be granted unless it poses an undue financial or administrative burden, or fundamentally alters the housing provider’s business. Housing providers cannot require that a caregiver be added to the lease, and in most cases, a rent increase is not permissible.

Rent
Many tenants with disabilities receive social security income as their primary money source, and social security checks often arrive on the third day of the month or later. Monthly rent is usually due on the first day of the month. Disabled tenants may request that the housing provider accommodate their disability by moving their rent due date to coincide with their social security check. This would allow them to avoid paying costly late fees every month and/or be in constant risk of eviction.

Contact HRC, If you would like assistance in requesting a reasonable accommodation.