Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities
Disability is defined under the Fair Housing Act as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities.” This definition includes people who have a history of such an impairment, and people perceived as having an impairment. Under the Fair Housing Act, people with physical or mental disabilities are permitted to request reasonable accommodations, or changes in rules, policies, practices or services that are necessary for a person with a disability to have an equal opportunity to “use and enjoy” housing. It is the responsibility of a landlord, property manager, condominium board or any other housing provider to grant an accommodation request when it is reasonable. Since there is a lack of accessible housing in Pennsylvania, a disabled home seeker’s only option for obtaining an accessible dwelling may be to request a reasonable accommodation.
Examples of accommodations include:
- Allowing an assistance animal in “no pets” community/housing
- Lease application in large print
- Permitting a live-in personal care attendant
- Transfer to a more accessible unit/community
- Installation of a reserved marked handicapped parking space
A landlord, property manager, condominium board or any other housing provider may request additional information or documentation to evaluate the reasonableness of a request for an accommodation if the requester has a disability that is not obvious, or the disability-related need for the accommodation is not apparent.