While becoming the landlord of residential property in New York is a great way to earn extra income, you have to be up on the most recent laws related to landlords and tenants. There may come a time when you have a disabled person submit an application.
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities as a landlord is to get a grasp of disabled tenant rights. SFGate has you covered.
State, Federal and City laws
Should you ever have a disabled person submit an application, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Fair Housing Amendments Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. All three give you a breakdown of examples of discrimination disabled people face when seeking housing. Bear in mind that the New York City Human Rights Law is much broader than either Federal or New York State law and grants broader rights than the other statutes.
Understanding what it means to have a disability
Not all disabilities are visually apparent. An applicant could have a hearing or visual impairment or mental illness. Even those battling alcoholism or diagnosed with HIV or AIDS have protections under the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Fair Housing Act.
Requesting reasonable accommodations
When a person with a disability moves in, she or he may ask for accommodations for the desired unit. By law, you have to honor such requests, as long as they are reasonable. For instance, you may need to install an elevator or create a designated handicapped parking spot close to the building. Usually, the tenant covers the cost of modifying living space though under NYC law, the landlord bears much greater financial obligations.
Proof of a disability
As a landlord, you can ask for proof of an applicant’s disability if she or he asks for a modification/accommodation, but only if it is unclear as to how the requested modification applies to a disability. Examples of proof include letters from medical professionals and Social Security Disability insurance documentation.
This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.