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 kind 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 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 Issues as a Landlord/Landlady
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:
Learn what qualifies as a disability to avoid future problems
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 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. Having this information at your fingertips will prevent blunders.
You need to know what your rights as a property owner are
You have rights concerning reasonable accommodation and whether you should make modifications to your property. You must know your rights. And you should assert them should the necessity arise. Here are a few things you should know:
- 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. Some unscrupulous people can use disabled persons as a front to get special treatment and force you to modify your home. You also have the right to ask for verification from the person with a disability. That applies if neither the impairment nor the need for reasonable accommodation is known.
- 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. Generally, it’s the tenant who will pay for the modifications to your home unless you receive federal assistance.
Get professional help to deal with the legalities surrounding reasonable accommodation
Unless you are a lawyer with lots of time on your hands, you won’t have the time to familiarize yourself with all legal regulations concerning rental properties. When in doubt, consult a Salt Lake property management company.
Do consider letting a good property management firm handle your investment property entirely. That’s because they specialize in all rental properties, which means they have comprehensive and long-term experience. That experience will come in handy in helping you navigate the legal minefield that is tenant-property owner interactions.
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. Property managers stay updated on this kind of information. So, they know what laws you need to comply with and the consequences of not doing so.
Additionally, reputable property management firms will usually partner with legal experts. Their lawyers understand the law. So, during negotiations with a tenant with disabilities, you will not be taken for a ride. You will only assume costs that you should, and your investment property will not lose value due to the modifications the disabled tenant makes.
The legal knowledge that property management companies have will also protect you from liability if the negotiations don’t go well.
Protecting Yourself and Your Renters
You must ensure that you protect yourself legally whenever you deal with tenants with disabilities. So, ensure that you arm yourself with knowledge and learn your rights as a property owner. Also, find a reputable property management company to work with.
Are you struggling to find the best Salt Lake property management company for your needs? Download The Guide to Finding the Best (Area) Property Management Company today and get started!