What is a reasonable accommodation?
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a reasonable accommodation as “One type of disability discrimination prohibited by the Act is the refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations are necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.”
An accommodation is necessary when there is an identifiable relationship between the requested accommodation and the individual’s disability. Some examples of reasonable accommodation include: permitting an assistance animal in a no pets building for someone is deaf, blind, has seizures or has a mental disability; or assigning a parking space for a person with a mobility impairment.
How should you request one?
A written request for a reasonable accommodation is advisable because it spells out exactly what you need, lowers the chances of a misunderstanding, and provides documentation of your request, should you later need it. Tenants and prospective tenants, however, can also make accommodation requests verbally. If a landlord denies your request or refuses to consider it because you didn’t make it in writing, be aware that they are misstating the law. If you need an accommodation, the request doesn’t have to come from you directly. A family member, friend, roommate, or anyone else you designate can do it on your behalf.