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Boston Apartment: Accommodating tenant with disabilities

Boston Apartment

Boston Apartment: Accommodating tenant with disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures that a property has reasonable accommodations and modifications when an applicant or resident needs an equal opportunity to use his home and all the common areas that come with it. The issue is that a landlord may not provide what is being asked and a tenant may feel that the landlord must provide what is being asked.


Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications

A tenant, who requests accommodation as a disabled person, should have records of their impairment which limits major activities. The landlord is unable to determine the extent of the impairment but can only provide accommodation which will allow them to enjoy the facility as much as possible.

Accommodation modifications can include:

Issuing Larger print documents

Providing a parking space close to their unit

Allowing service pets in a no pet complex

Allowing a transfer to a downstairs unit

They can also make structural changes such as installing a grab bar in the tub, installing ramps over stairs, widening doorways, lowering kitchen cabinets, and altering walkways.

Boston Apartment: Requests and Proof

If an accommodation or modification is necessary, the request should always be in writing. It’s a good idea to have everything in writing instead of just opting for a verbal agreement. This will help understand the extent of the request. There is no need for a doctor’s note if a record has been disclosed or if the disability is quite apparent.

In order to get permission for a service animal, the tenant would need to have a note from the doctor. The key is to make sure that all details must be kept confidential and should not be shared with anyone else besides the decision maker.


Who Pays?

The landlord is required to pay for the accommodation. However there is no requirement to pay if it is a large financial or administrative burden. The tenants will have to pay for any modification. In the event that the tenant makes a modification, there should be a clause in the lease which states that the tenant restores the unit back to its original state upon leaving.  Plus the landlord should not charge any extra deposit for that. A tenant won’t have to pay for a modification if the landlord receives federal subsidies. The tenant can also set up an account where the cost of restoration will be paid for when moving out.

If a request is unreasonable or causes hardship then it is ok to suggest alternative accommodation. However there will be the chance that a tenant will seek legal help if the requests are ignored.


We hope you liked our guide “Boston Apartment: Accommodating tenant with disabilities.”



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