Start a new topic

Tenant has child wih disabilities...

I have a set of prospective tenants.  They have a daughter that is wheelchair bound.  I stated to the parents that the house is not handicapped accessible.  I offered to help the dad build a ramp to gain entrance to the house. (He would pay for the materials)  We measured the doors inside, and they are wide enough for her wheelchair, and both parents said that the layout of the house would work well for them and their daughter.  Here is what I'm concerned about...  1. Can the tenants or another agency force me to change items in the house to make them ADA comliant?  2. If they end up not paying rent, etc.  Would it be harder to evict the tenants due to their disabled daughter?  If  I clearly state in an addendum to the lease that there will be no modificatios to the property and have the tenants sign it, would this protect me or not?  They seem like good people, but I'm just woried about what I might be getting myself into.

Please read the following: Court says ADA doesn’t apply to residential housing A U.S. District Court in North Carolina recently dismissed a lawsuit brought against a residential landlord by a former tenant who alleged that the landlord had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.  The purpose of the ADA, enacted in 1992, is to assure equal access and services to disabled individuals.  The tenant, who occasionally needed a wheelchair, alleged that the landlord refused to allow her to make improvements-including installing a portable Jacuzzi, temporary ramps, and a removable above-ground pool—to the single-family home she leased from him.  The court dismissed the suit, ruling that since the home was privately owned residential housing and not a place of public accommodation--such as a hotel or an inn--the ADA did not apply.  In a footnote, the court noted that the tenant’s claims would probably also fail under the Fair Housing Act.
As far as eviction -  they are your tenants and would be treated like any other tenant. Follow due process to remove a tenant. The only stipulation I have sometimes seen in some states is with senior citizems.
Brian , I also think the bathroom has to have certain fixtures such as grab bars and the toilet has to have a modification
Fair Housing laws are all about Reasonable Accommodation.  That is a legal concept that means pretty much what it says - Check this booklet for more info - It is based on Oregon law, but it should be a good starting point.  Generally, landlords should allow modifications but are not required to pay for in that way they could 'force' you.  If they need a ramp - for example - you should allow them to build it at their expense.  If you have an addendum which states there are to be no modifications - and only ask people with disabilities to sign it, you are clearly heading into Fair Housing trouble.  Depending on your local laws - any eviction proceeding should work the same with or without disability. Note: in many places it is not just State laws, but county and city ones to consider as well.
Login to post a comment