Disabled people have very significant legal protections in all aspects of society. Laws like the ADA are in place specifically to provide for the ability of people with disabilities to live a normal life free from obstacles and discrimination as possible. These protections extend to renters as well, and it’s important that you understand these rights so that you are treated as you deserve.
A little bit of knowledge goes a long way, and that knowledge should include when to seek legal help in resolving issues of discrimination. Discover the disabled renter’s rights protections that exist under the law so you can be sure that you’re getting all of the accommodations you deserve.
Disabled Renters Rights
Disabled renters rights may extend further than you realize. For example, when you are seeking a rental, a landlord is forbidden under the law to ask if you have an illness or disability, and they absolutely may not ask to see medical records. If you do have a disability, when you move in your landlord has to provide you with reasonable accommodations at their expense, and they are required to permit you to make reasonable modifications to the living unit at your expense.
Housing and Disability
The Federal Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Amendments Act are in place to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. This includes those who have a disability which substantially limits life activities, including mobility, hearing and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism (if you are in a recovery program), mental illness, intellectual disability, HIV or AIDS-related illness, or other disabilities.
Further, this definition extends to those who are regarded by other people as though they have a disability or those who have a history of a disability. Mental or emotional impairments also apply in this area.
Even if the landlord knows of your disability, they are required to evaluate you as a tenant based on whether you can be stable and pay the bills, not based on your physical or mental health. They can only reject you if they can back it up with specific instances of behavior that would make you dangerous to others or demonstrate you cannot pay rent.
Accommodations and Modifications
A landlord is required to make reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of a tenant with a disability, at the landlord’s expense. This includes the adjustment of services, rules, and procedures to ensure you have the same ability to enjoy and use your space as a person without a disability would. This can include providing a parking space, access and more.
In addition, if you need to make modifications to the space, the landlord must allow you to do so at your expense. This includes things like lowering countertops, installing special fixtures, modifying appliances and interior ramp installation.
Getting Legal Help
If you’re facing discrimination by a landlord due to a disability, you can call a disability attorney for help. The Law Offices of Bill LaTour are focused exclusively on disability rights, and we’re ready to provide the aid you need. Just give us a call for a free consultation or more information today.