California landlords should be aware of their obligations to follow Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) policies. ADA policies ensure that tenants with disabilities are given fair accommodations for their living situation and prohibit discrimination.
To ensure you’re ADA compliant, you may need to review what kind of accommodations you may need to make. Here’s what you should know:
1. Provide disabled parking
You may have multiple rental units and provide a parking lot to accommodate your tenant. A disabled tenant may request a disabled parking space so that it’s easier for them to maneuver in and out of their car. As a landlord who complies with ADA practices, you may have to make accommodations and provide a disabled parking space – even if parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
2. Remove tripping hazards
Under ADA practices, a tripping hazard is anything that’s a quarter of an inch vertically off the floor. While that may not seem a lot to most people, this can be a serious hazard for tenants with disabilities. As a landlord, it may be your responsibility to limit any tipping hazards – that may include obstructed sidewalks, ripped carpet, uneven stairs and revealed wires.
3. Adjust when rent is due
Many people with disabilities are provided with a monthly income that, typically, doesn’t arrive until the third of each month. If you request that rent is paid on the first of every month, then the disabled tenant may struggle to make payments. Instead, before a tenancy agreement is made, you could make adjustments that make it easier for the disabled tenant to make payments.
It’s possible that a tenant will file a claim because they believe you discriminated against their disability and didn’t provide them with the accommodations they requested. If this happens, you should be aware of your legal rights to defend against the claim.