Under the Fair Housing Act, property owners cannot discriminate against you based on your disability. Most often, when people think about the Fair Housing Act, they think about it in reference to being offered or declined housing. For instance, if you meet with your landlord in person and he or she suddenly has a change of heart about allowing you to rent, it could be a case of discrimination.
What if you already have a place? Can you still suffer discrimination? Can a landlord refuse your need for accommodations?
What are reasonable accommodations?
An accommodation is a change to the policies or rules that a landlord has for his or her property. Reasonable accommodations are changes that provide the tenant with the ability to enjoy the dwelling and the common spaces equal to others. In some cases, a landlord may even provide reasonable modifications. These are structural modifications so that a person can enjoy the housing and facilities.
Can landlords refuse reasonable accommodations?
If a landlord refuses your reasonable accommodations, then this is an example of discrimination. Some reasonable accommodations might include a ramp or grab bar installation. If you have a service animal, you may require a waived pet deposit fee. If there is a strict no pets policy, the property owner cannot say no based on your animal or have your pet kicked out. You should never have to face additional fees or extra rent based on these accommodations. The law states that the property owner has to provide what is necessary for you to enjoy the property in its entirety.