Disability Rights in Housing

The disability rights in housing apply to both public and private housing providers.

There are strict housing rights for disabled tenants that must be recognized and upheld by housing providers, including landlords and property managers.

Housing rights for disabled people include the prevention of discrimination or unfair treatment and the ability to provide or approve accommodations or modifications when necessary.

The fair housing disability rights should be reviewed by potential tenants with disabilities to ensure they are being treated equally by landlords or property managers of both private and public housing.

Disability rights in housing are expressed through state and federal laws and upheld by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To find out more about housing rights for disabled tenants, including how HUD helps in combating discrimination and ensuring accommodations and modifications are provided, read through the sections below.

Tenant Discrimination and The Disability Rights in Housing

Fair housing disability rights apply to anyone who is living with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits his or her ability to perform a major and important life activity.

Housing rights for disabled people are implemented to ensure equal treatment for residents who live with diseases or conditions including:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus infection.
  • Mental retardation or emotional illness.
  • Cancer, heart disease or multiple sclerosis.
  • Diabetes, drug addiction or alcoholism.
  • Speech, visual or hearing impairments.

Housing rights for disabled tenants also extend to residents who are renting homes and live with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, autism and epilepsy.

Disability rights in housing are implemented throughout the state for disabled residents who have trouble performing pertinent life tasks that include breathing, learning, displaying independent care skills, speaking, walking, seeing, hearing or completing manual work.

Fair housing disability rights forbid housing providers from discriminating against disabled persons when screening for tenancy or when renting properties to tenants.

According to housing rights for disabled persons, a landlord cannot refuse acceptance to a tenant or hold him or her to different standards or lease conditions because the potential tenant is disabled.

Application procedures and standards must be equal for all potential tenants who apply for residency.

To find out more about  the disability rights in housing and how discrimination is prohibited, download our informative and detailed guide.

Housing Rights for Disabled Tenants

Housing rights for disabled people also include the housing provider making reasonable accommodations for disabled tenants.

To lawfully uphold the housing rights for disabled tenants, landlords must be flexible and willing to change practices, policies, rules or services so that a disabled tenant may enjoy equal rights and amenities as they are offered to other tenants.

While these disabled tenant housing rights encourage landlords to make reasonable accommodations so disabled tenants can have equal rights to common spaces, landlords are not required to completely change their rental programs or perform actions that would cause them financial or physical distress.

The disability rights in housing can be upheld by landlords without reconstructing properties completely or causing extreme administrative burdens that affect revenue.

For example, fair housing disability rights are not being lawfully upheld if a landlord refuses to provide a tenant with physical disabilities that prevents proper walking with a parking space that is in close proximity to his or her front door.

However, the landlord may not be neglecting housing rights for disabled tenants if the parking lot itself is located far from the disabled tenant’s door and the landlord would need to redesign the property to meet the accommodation request.

To review housing rights for disabled people and the accommodations that must be provided by landlords, download our free comprehensive guide.

Reasonable Modifications and Fair Housing Disability Rights

Disability rights in housing do not demand that housing providers make modifications to rental properties to accommodate tenants.

However, to uphold housing rights for disabled tenants, property managers and landlords must be willing to allow these tenants to modify property characteristics within reason so they can live more conveniently.

When observing housing rights for disabled residents , housing providers are not required to finance the structural modifications that a disabled tenant requests, but they must be agreeable and openminded about the tenant’s desires for a more comfortable living situation.

To successfully uphold disability rights in housing, public housing providers, like those found on Section 8 waiting lists, may be required by HUD to pay for the reasonable modifications as requested.

Public housing providers should consult HUD to understand their legal role in making reasonable modifications to properties to accommodate disabled tenants.

Fair housing disability rights state that housing providers must be willing to allow disabled tenants to make reasonable modifications to rental properties, including:

  • Lowering the front door entry.
  • Installing a handicap ramp for entrance to a property.
  • Mounting a grab bar in the bathroom.
  • Installing a bench in the shower or bathtub.

Disabled housing rights should be observed by housing providers to ensure disabled tenants have the same access to property facilities and can enjoy amenities just like other tenants.

To lawfully follow fair housing disability rights , housing providers should consider all disabled tenant requests for reasonable property modifications.