Under the federal Fair Housing Act, disabled tenants are protected from discrimination and cannot be evicted solely due to their disability.
This protection applies to all types of forms of rental housing, including single-family homes, apartments, mobile homes, and dormitories.
Tenants have the right to reasonable accommodations that may help them remain in their homes or prevent eviction.
The Housing Act provides protection for disabled tenants from discrimination and eviction.
Handicapped tenants have the right to reasonable accommodations that may help them remain in their homes or prevent eviction.
This includes modifications to common areas and changes to the tenant’s living arrangements, such as allowing assistance or service animals or providing wheelchair ramps.
The landlord must make reasonable accommodations unless it would be an undue burden, such as if it would cost too much or fundamentally alter the nature of the landlord’s business.
This guide will discuss how disabled tenants are protected under the law and provide resources to prevent eviction.
Legal protection for disabled tenants
The Housing Act (FHA) protects tenants in the United States from discrimination, including eviction.
This law prohibits landlords from denying rental housing to tenants with disabilities or charging higher rent or deposits than those without disabilities.
It also requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with physical disabilities unless it would cause the owner an undue burden.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the FHA, and tenants can file a complaint with HUD or their local fair housing agency if they believe the evidence that they have been discriminated against based on their disability.
Eviction process for disabled tenants
If a landlord tries to evict a tenant due to their mental or physical illness or disability, the tenant may be able to challenge the eviction in court.
The tenant should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney to understand their rights and options.
In some cases, the landlord may have grounds for eviction that are not related to the disability (such as non-payment of rent or violation of lease terms), and the tenant with mental impairment may still be evicted.
Under the disabilities act, tenants have protection from being evicted just because of their disability.
This law stops landlords from saying no to renting to someone with a disability or charging them more money than they pay rent to people without a disability.
Landlords must also make changes in the rental property if it helps a tenant with a mental disability to stay in their home or stop an eviction. If a landlord tries to evict someone with a disability, they can try and fight it in court.
A lawyer can help them understand their rights and options, but sometimes the landlord has reasons that are not related to the tenant’s disability that can still lead to an eviction.
Eviction defenses specific to disabled tenants
Disabled tenants are protected from discrimination and eviction under the Housing Act. This means that landlords cannot deny a disabled tenant rental housing or charge them more rent or deposits than those without disabilities. If a landlord tries to evict someone with a disability, they have the right to defend themselves in court. The landlord must also make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities unless it would be an undue burden. To prevent eviction, disabled tenants should pay their rent on time and obey all rules in their rental agreement.
Reasonable accommodations for disabled tenants
The Housing Act requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities, such as allowing an assistance animal or providing wheelchair ramps.
It is important to note that the landlord is only required to make changes if it does not cause an undue burden, for example, which means it would be too expensive or fundamentally alter the nature of service for their business.
The disabled tenant should discuss any reasonable accommodations they need with their landlord and provide supporting documentation, such as a doctor’s note or disability certification.
If the landlord refuses to make reasonable accommodations, the tenant can file a complaint with HUD or their local fair housing agency.
Eviction laws for tenants to be aware of
- The Housing Act: Prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability, race, national origin, religion, and other protected characteristics.
- State Laws: Many states have laws that protect tenants from eviction without cause or proper notice.
- Rent Control Laws: These laws limit how much rent a landlord can charge and substantially limit how often it can be increased for existing tenants.
- Landlord-Tenant Law: This law outlines the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants in regard to rental agreements, deposits paid, evictions, repairs, security deposits, etc.
- Security Deposit Limits: All states have limits on how much a landlord may charge as a deposit when renting out property; these limits also regulate what they are able to do with the money while it is held by them during the tenancy period (i.e., not be used for non-rent expenses).
- Habitability Requirements: Landlords must keep rental units habitable according to health and safety standards set forth by state and federal law, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing between tenant/landlord; failure to do so could result in penalties being imposed against them via court order or even criminal charges depending on the severity of the case.
Tips and strategies for preventing evictions for tenants include:
Paying rent on time: Tenants should always pay their rent on time to avoid eviction. If a tenant has difficulty making payments, they should contact their landlord as soon as possible to discuss payment plans or other arrangements to help them stay home.
Keeping a clean and safe home: Tenants should keep their homes clean to avoid fines or eviction proceedings being brought against them by their landlord.
Following the lease: Tenants should carefully read and follow all lease agreement terms to avoid any disputes with their landlord.
Consulting an attorney: Tenants should consult an attorney if they are facing eviction or feel their rights have been violated.
Educating yourself: Tenants should research their rights and stay up to date on laws relevant to the tenant population.
Eviction protection resources
If a tenant or person with a disability faces eviction, they have the right to defend themselves in court.
There are organizations and programs that can help prevent eviction for tenants. National and local organizations can provide legal aid and housing assistance if needed.
Legal aid is free or low-cost help from lawyers who know about laws related to tenants. Housing assistance programs can also provide help with rent payments, repairs, or other needs so that people do not need to worry about being evicted.
Tenants may also be eligible for rental assistance from the government. These programs help tenants who are facing eviction by providing money and other resources to help them with rent payments or housing-related expenses.
Tenants should contact their local government offices to learn more about these grant programs.
It is important for tenants to understand their rights and know how to protect themselves from eviction. Knowing what legal protections are available, how the eviction process works, and knowing how to prevent eviction can help disabled tenants stay in their homes and avoid becoming homeless.
Tenants Together (http://www.tenantstogether.org/resources/disability-rights-rental-housing)
Legal Aid (http://www.lsc.gov/)
Housing Assistance Programs (https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs)
Rental Assistance (https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/2070)
US Department of Justice – Housing Act (https://www.justice.gov/crt/fair-housing-act-4)
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (https://dredf.org/)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (https://www.aclu.org/)
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (http://www.nlchp.org/)
National Alliance to End Homelessness (https://endhomelessness.org/).
Frequently asked questions for tenants who are disabled
What rights do tenants have?
Tenants have the right to equal treatment, reasonable accommodations and modifications, and protection against discrimination based on their disability under the Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local laws.
Can a landlord evict a tenant?
A landlord cannot evict a tenant solely based on their disability. However, disabled tenants can be evicted for valid reasons, such as non-payment of rent or lease violations unrelated to their disability.
How does the Fair Housing Act protect tenants?
The Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on disability and requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations and allow tenants to make reasonable modifications to their living space.
What is considered a reasonable accommodation for tenants?
A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, or practices that allows tenants to fully use and enjoy their housing. Examples include allowing service animals, providing reserved parking spaces, or permitting rent payment extensions due to disability-related reasons.
Can a landlord deny a reasonable accommodation request?
A landlord can deny a request if it imposes an undue financial or administrative burden or fundamentally alters the nature of the housing provider’s operations.
How does the eviction process work for disabled tenants?
The eviction process for tenants is similar to that of non-disabled tenants. Still, disabled tenants have additional protections, such as the right to request reasonable accommodations to prevent eviction.
What are the best resources for tenants facing eviction?
Resources include HUD’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office, legal aid organizations, disability rights organizations, and local housing assistance programs.
Can a landlord charge for disability-related modifications?
A landlord can charge for modifications but may not charge more than the actual cost. In some cases, the tenant may be required to restore the property to its original condition when they move out.
How do state and local laws protect tenants?
State and local laws may offer additional protections for tenants, such as stronger eviction defenses or extended notice periods before eviction.
What should I do if I’m a tenant facing eviction?
Communicate with your landlord, document your disability and accommodations, request reasonable accommodations, seek legal assistance, and contact disability rights organizations for support.
In conclusion, tenants with a disability have the right to equal treatment and protection against discrimination under federal laws like the Fair Housing Act.
Tenants can also request reasonable accommodations and modifications in their living space that may help prevent eviction.
To protect your housing rights as a person and a tenant, you should communicate with your landlord, document any disability-related needs or requests for accommodation, seek legal assistance if necessary, and contact disability rights organizations for their services and support.
With these steps taken, you will be well on your way to protecting yourself from unfair evictions due to your disability status.