Do you have to comply with a disabled tenant’s modification requests?

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09/25/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

A prospective tenant for a property I manage uses a wheelchair. He wants to build a ramp to the front door, widen two bathroom doors, and install grab bars in the bathroom. If he becomes a tenant, what modifications does the owner have to allow? 

The landlord must permit reasonable modifications necessary to afford the disabled tenant full enjoyment of the property, such as the modifications described. 

To protect both parties, the lease they sign should address who will arrange for the modifications, who will make decisions regarding workmen and materials, and who will pay for the modifications. For example, the lease may provide that the tenant will pay the cost either directly to any contractor or by reimbursement to the landlord, or the lease may provide that the landlord will make the modifications in exchange for a concession, such as an increase in the rent based on the cost of the modifications. 

The lease should also cover whether the property will be restored when the tenant moves out and, if it will, who will pay for the cost of such restoration.    

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Categories: Property Management, Legal, Landlords, Renters
Tags: property management, landlord, renter, lease, rental, legal, legal faq


Comments

Teresa Morant on 10/01/2015

My understanding has always been that ADA requirements stated that a landlord mush allow reasonable accommodations to the property at the tenants expense, whether that is prior to the lease or move in or during the lease if it becomes necessary.  I am more unclear as to if it needs to be changed at move out and at who’s expense; is that a negotiable item?  Please let me know if I am incorrect about this and thanks for a great subject.

Debby Abitz on 09/25/2015

Very useful information. However, what if a tenant develops a disability during a month to month lease? What extent of accommodation is required of the landlord?


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