Property Management Blog

What Is The Americans with Disabilities Act and How Does It Affect My Rental Property?

Property Management Blog

In 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice created the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for the purpose of prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA was created to ensure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. 61 Million people, or 26% of the United States population, have a disability. Disability is a broad term and covers a wide range of conditions.

Some of the disabilities covered by the ADA include:

  • Mobility impairment

  • Visual impairment

  • Mental illness

  • Noncontagious diseases

Landlords and property owners must be knowledgeable of their responsibilities regarding housing policies covered under the ADA. For instance, Under the ADA, landlords are prohibited from questioning about the nature of a person’s disability even if the disability is obvious. You may not ask for proof of disability. These laws also prohibit housing providers from refusing residency to persons with disabilities or placing conditions on their residency because they require reasonable accommodations or modifications.

Landlords and property owners must, however, provide reasonable accommodations or modifications to tenants with a disability. A reasonable accommodation is a change to the rules, policies, practices or living environment that aids someone with a disability and does not create an undue hardship on the property manager. The goal is for tenants to experience the full benefits of living in the community. Reasonable modifications can include structural changes to interiors and exteriors of dwellings and to common and public use areas. Examples include the installation of a ramp into a building, lowering the entry threshold of a unit, or the installation of grab bars in a bathroom. Landlords are typically responsible for the cost of reasonable accommodations.

Adhering to the ADA can be challenging, and if you're unfamiliar with your rights and responsibilities, it can become costly, too. Palomar Property Services is extremely knowledgeable and proficient in ADA practices, and we are here to help you navigate all your property ownership needs.

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