As a landlord, you may be faced with a disabled tenant who has recently suffered from an auto accident, stroke, or some other life-altering event. In such a situation, you will automatically start to wonder what reasonable modifications you should allow your tenant to make to your rental to make his life easier.
What Are "Reasonable" Modifications?
In most states, a disabled tenant can make reasonable modifications to his or her home to make it more disability friendly. As a landlord, you might be wondering what are truly reasonable modifications. Remember that all states different, but there are a few modifications that usually fall under the definition of "reasonable" modifications that you will be required to allow your tenant the freedom to undertake at his own expense.
As the landlord, you have a few entitlements that are not unreasonable to request from any disabled tenant before any modifications are made to your rental property. You should make it perfectly clear that, prior to any modifications being made to the rental property, the tenant must ask you for pre-approval. Any modifications to your rental property should be made by a skilled construction professional that is licensed and bonded. Any building permits that are required must also be obtained by the tenant and presented to you before any remodels or improvements take place.
If the modifications that the tenant is performing are extreme, such as lowering the countertops in the home, you can require that the tenant pay money into an interest-bearing escrow account for the amount estimated for the restoration to get the rental home back to its original state if and when the tenant moves out.
You can request proof from a medical professional that the modifications your tenant wants to do to your rental property are necessary and will actually improve his life.
Helping to make your tenant's life easier and more pleasant will aid you in forming a stronger relationship with your tenant, which may ensure that he continues to rent your property for an extended time period. Usually just a few simple modifications are all that are required for most disabled people to greatly improve their lives overall.
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