Fair Housing and Disabilities

If your sales associates also sell apartment properties or rent single-family homes on behalf of owners, they should be familiar with the provisions of the Fair Housing Act as they apply to the disabled.

Property owners must permit handicapped tenants to make reasonable modifications at the tenant's expense—such as adding grab bars in the bathroom, adding a flashing light in place of a doorbell, or relocating lighting and HVAC controls to a level accessible in a wheelchair.

However, the owner may require that the tenant restore the property to its original condition before vacating.

Multifamily properties with four or more units first occupied after March 13, 1991, must make all units accessible for disabled individuals. According to the Fair Housing Act, these units must comply with the following seven design and construction requirements:

  1. Accessible entrace on an accessible route
  2. Accessible public and common-use areas
  3. Usable doors
  4. Accessible route into and through the unit
  5. Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and environmental controls
  6. Reinforced walls in all bathrooms
  7. Usable kitchens and bathrooms
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