reservedThe Fair Housing laws are meant to help ensure that potential tenants are treated fairly and that they are not discriminated against based on the rules set by the laws. One of the groups that is protected under these laws are applicants with disabilities. As a landlord looking at a variety of potential tenants, there are a couple of things that you'll need to understand about this specific group and what these laws mean.

You may not choose to not rent to an applicant solely because they are disabled. This means that if you have two applicants to choose from, both with excellent credit history, both making the appropriate amount to make their rent payments every month, and both interested in renting your property, but one has a disability of any kind, you may not choose the secondary person only because of that. In the same way you may be required to make reasonable exceptions and accommodations to allow the tenant to live comfortably in the property. For example, if the new tenant requires a seeing eye dog or any other type of service animal, you may be required to allow the animal into the home despite any pet policies that may be in place. In the same way you may be required to wave that pet fee. If the applicant is on a fixed income due to their disability that does not make quite make the cut for your income requirements, you may need to allow for a co-signer if they can provide one.

The list can continue on in small exceptions you may need to make for a disabled tenant. A closer parking spot may be needed or at times even a ramp, though they may be required to pay for that. Check local laws and work with your tenant. You never know, you may find that perfect tenant that stays with you for years and years because you're willing to work with them so closely.
POSTED June 02 2014 10:21 AM

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