Re: alterations for a person with disabilities
by MrDan on Monday, December 19, 2011 @18:33
You can not inquire as to a disabled persons disability. You can request that a disabled person who is requesting an accommodation to put the request in writing. Further Info ; MAKING REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS by Cathy L. Lucrezi, Attorney at Law
First off, it’s important to know the difference between an accommodation and a modification. A modification is a change to the physical structure of the unit, while an accommodation is some “bending” of a rule. Both a modification and an accommodation permit the disabled person to fully enjoy the rental premises.
The landlord must permit “reasonable” modifications. To be reasonable, a modification must: (1) not require a fundamental alteration in the nature of the landlord’s business, and (2) not impose undue financial or administrative burdens on the landlord.
The tenant is responsible for paying the costs of the modification. If the modification is something that does not diminish the unit’s ability to be rented to the “next” tenant, then the landlord cannot require the tenant to remove the modification when he leaves.
The landlord can insist that the work be done by licensed professionals, that all codes be complied with, and that the design be reviewed by the landlord before work begins. The permission to do the modification should always be done in writing, to avoid confusion later.
A sample letter granting permission might be: “We understand you wish to install a lift chair in the interior stair case, due to your son’s handicap. We consent to such a modification of the unit on the following conditions: 1.) The modification is done at your expense; 2.) Our office reviews the work plan or design before work begins; 3.) All work is done by licensed individuals and complies with local codes; and, 4.) You agree to restore the staircase upon your vacating."
The landlord may not increase any customarily required security deposit due to the modification. However, if the modification is something that would diminish the “next” tenant’s enjoyment of the unit, the landlord can require the tenant to pay, over a reasonable period, an amount of money not to exceed the cost of the restorations. HUD requires that such a deposit be in an interest bearing account, with all the interest going to the tenant.
Whether it’s grab bars or a light-alert system that takes the place of a traditional doorbell, the landlord must permit the disabled tenant to make a modification to the existing premises. Failing to do so may mean that HUD attempts to “modify” the landlord’s pocketbook.
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