Are you wondering whether you should hire a Salt Lake property management company or manage your property alone? Perhaps it’s time for you to think about whether you can deal with all types of tenants.
With 61 million Americans having some form of disability, you should prepare to deal with people with disabilities at some point. People that live with disabilities tend to have unique needs. You may have a duty to address some of those needs as a rental property owner. So, knowing what to do will help you determine whether you are in a position to deliver that on your own.
What Is Reasonable Accommodation?
Reasonable accommodation refers to modifications that you or another party makes to your Salt Lake investment property’s associated rules, policies, and services. These changes should accommodate the needs of a disabled person or someone who has specific religious beliefs.
However, the modifications that you make should not jeopardize anyone’s safety or cause undue hardship to you or others.
Tips on Dealing with Reasonable Accommodation
You need to be aware of the legal regulations in place that concern people with disabilities that want to rent your investment property. Below are some tips that will guide you concerning this issue.
What Qualifies as a Disability?
Just because someone says they are disabled doesn’t mean that they are. On the other hand, just because someone does not look disabled doesn’t mean that they are not. It is in your best interest to have a basic understanding of what should qualify as a disability to property owners.
For starters, if someone has a record of disability, then they can qualify for reasonable accommodation. These may include people who need are visually impaired, deaf, or have physical disabilities of some kind.
Some people who are getting help for their addiction may also be considered disabled. However, people who are addicted to controlled illegal substances are not.
Additionally, people with mental health issues may also need reasonable accommodations. Understanding how to handle different types of requests for modifications due to a renter's disability will prevent mishandling in these situations that could lead to a lawsuit.
Know Your Rights as a Property Owner
You have rights concerning reasonable accommodation and whether you should make modifications to your property. While Salt Lake property owners must make "reasonable" attempts to respond to a tenant's requests, it's not necessary to go into debt or create problems for other tenants to follow the law.
Here are a few things you should know when processing a modification request:
- You have a right to consider each request for reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis. No one should force you to make blanket changes.
- You have a right to verify claims of disability, but proceed with caution and follow the law. Some unscrupulous people can use a "disability" as a front to get special treatment for adjusted rental payment deadlines or to force you to modify your home. Ask for allowed forms of verification from the person with a disability to confirm that the requested modification is related to a renter's disability.
- As a property owner, you have a right to approve the modification plans being made to your property.
- If the request for reasonable accommodation will cause you undue financial and administrative hardship, then you can decline to pay for the costs associated with it. If costs are prohibitive, work with your tenant to come up with a compromise or find ways to fund a modification through local or federal assistance.
Get Expert Help to Navigate Reasonable Accommodation Requests
Unless you are a lawyer who is familiar with landlord-tenant laws and reasonable accommodation, you probably don't have the time to familiarize yourself with all legal regulations concerning rental properties. When in doubt, consult a Salt Lake property management company.
Many of these professionals have been in the game for a long time. They are aware of the federal, state, and local laws governing reasonable accommodations. Seasoned property managers stay updated on this kind of information and are prepared to keep you compliant. They also know how to work with tenants on the best solutions to avoid the costly impact of violating housing laws.
Additionally, reputable property management firms will usually partner with legal experts that specialize in landlord-tenant and housing laws. During negotiations with a tenant with disabilities, you have the best experts to review a request, analyze the best options, and protect both you and your renters.
Make the Right Choices With Salt Lake Property Management
Salt Lake property owners must protect themselves legally when dealing with tenants who have disabilities. Balancing the right responses to provide safe and comfortable homes with the "reasonableness" of a modification is easier with the best Salt Lake property management company to guide you!
Reeder Asset Management has years of experience as rental property owners and property managers serving investors in the area. If you're not sure how to handed a requested modification, let us help!
Are you struggling to find the best property manager for your needs? Download our free resource, "The Guide to Finding the Best Salt Lake Property Management Company" today and get started!