Many providers of housing for people with disabilities may require a variety of information from applicants or tenants to determine what reasonable accommodations are needed to meet their needs. These documents may cover a variety of topics, from requests for reasonable accommodations and alternative accommodations to charges for damage caused by an assistance animal.
Using GoNest, providers can quickly fill vacant properties and rooms by shortlisting eligible applicants. Nest is the go-to website for people with disabilities looking for housing, with listings from disability housing providers, community and social housing providers, real estate agents, and private landlords.
Requests for reasonable accommodation
The federal government requires disability housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for their tenants. Requests for reasonable accommodations should be supported with credible documentation. These documents can be submitted by the individual making the request, by a medical professional, by a peer support group, by a nonmedical service agency, or by another third party.
Requests for reasonable accommodations can be made orally or in writing. The latter is recommended to avoid misunderstandings and facilitate processing. Before submitting a request for reasonable accommodations, prospective tenants should check with their housing provider to determine the preferred method. The housing provider must give consideration to the request, and it may be denied for various reasons.
The documentation needs to be specific, and it should be related to the person’s disability. The documents should also be kept confidential and not shared with anyone else. This is to protect the person with a disability.
If you’re a housing provider and have a disability, you should be prepared to respond to any requests for alternative accommodations. These requests must be made by the person with a disability or their representative. They should also be based on the individual’s disability-related need and should not fundamentally alter the program. It is important for housing providers to remember that the person with a disability is the one who knows the disability best, and they can determine what aids and services are necessary for his or her needs.
An example of an alternative accommodation is a temporary or permanent relocation. In this scenario, a housing provider may need to relocate the tenant to a different apartment building or apartment within the same building. If an elevator is under repair, for example, the tenant may be required to relocate to a ground-floor apartment.
Another example is an apartment unit that is configured in a way that makes day-to-day activities difficult for the disabled person. The housing provider must provide the appropriate modifications so that the individual can move about freely. These modifications may include installing grab bars for bathtubs and roll-in showers or adjusting the location of appliances and fixtures. For people with dexterity disabilities, a flashing doorbell function or lever hardware for doorknobs can provide effective accommodations.
Charges for damage caused by an assistance animal
The right to keep an assistance animal may require a rental agreement between landlord and tenant. However, landlords can charge the tenant for damages caused by the animal. In some cases, they may deduct these damages from a tenant’s standard security deposit. The landlord may also require the animal to meet certain local vaccination and licensing requirements.
The assistance animal must be kept on a leash and cleaned up after its owner. It must not be a nuisance to other residents. It should be properly trained not to jump on or trample on people, nor should it be aggressive towards other animals. If it is being aggressive or causing damage, the animal should be removed immediately.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and it requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations to accommodate the needs of disabled tenants. Since assistance animals are not pets, they can provide emotional support and assistance. The person with a disability may request to keep an assistance animal as a reasonable accommodation. Under the law, a housing provider cannot refuse to grant this request.