Housing and Accommodation

By Stephanie Ansel

Housing and Accommodation

If you’re searching for housing, it’s important to know your rights and obligations when it comes to accommodations. Whether you have a disability or not, understanding the process of requesting reasonable accommodations can help ensure that your needs are met.

Additionally, knowing what types of accommodations are available can make all the difference in finding a living arrangement that best suits your needs.

This article will provide an overview of housing and accommodation policies and practices. With resources, you’ll learn about the legal requirements for reasonable accommodations, as well as examples of common modifications landlords may make to accommodate tenants with disabilities.

We’ll also cover the role of accessibility resources in housing accommodations and provide guidance on how to request necessary adjustments. By understanding these key concepts, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the sometimes complex world of housing and find a living situation that meets your unique needs.


What to know about housing and accommodation?

Housing accommodations are essential for ensuring equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The process involves requesting and evaluating reasonable accommodations, with the goal of providing accessible and inclusive housing options.

What are the rights and obligations regarding reasonable accommodations in housing?

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Source: Project Untethered

You gotta make sure the landlord gives you reasonable accommodations that allow you to live comfortably and independently in your new home, like a ramp for your wheelchair or a service animal. This is because under the Fair Housing Act, individuals with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations from their landlords. (1)

Reasonable accommodation refers to any changes or modifications made to a rental unit or building that enable tenants with disabilities to fully enjoy their homes. As a tenant with a disability, it’s important that you know what qualifies as reasonable accommodation.

Generally speaking, reasonable accommodations are changes made to policies, procedures or physical structures of housing units in order to provide equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities. Examples include installing grab bars in bathrooms, lowering countertops for wheelchair users or allowing service animals in rental units.

However, not all requests will be considered reasonable – it depends on individual circumstances and how much of an impact the requested change has on the landlord.

So now that you know about your rights as a tenant with a disability when it comes to requesting reasonable accommodations, how can you go about making these requests? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer but generally speaking, tenants should start by contacting their landlords and clearly outlining what they need in order to live comfortably in their homes.

It’s also helpful to provide documentation from healthcare professionals supporting the need for specific accommodations. By working together with landlords and property managers, tenants can ensure they receive the necessary support to lead fulfilling lives within their own homes.

How can individuals with disabilities request housing accommodations?

If you have a disability, it’s important to know that there are ways to request specific modifications or adjustments to your living situation. The first step is to communicate with your landlord or property manager about the accommodations you need. This can be done either verbally or in writing, and it’s important to be specific about what changes are necessary in order for you to live comfortably and safely. (2)

Once you’ve made your request, your landlord has a legal obligation to engage in an interactive process with you to determine whether the requested accommodation is reasonable. This means that they must work with you to identify potential solutions and consider factors such as cost, feasibility, and any potential impact on other residents.

It’s also important for landlords to keep detailed records of these conversations and decisions in case any disputes arise later on. Overall, requesting housing accommodations can be a complex process, but it’s essential for ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal access to safe and comfortable living spaces.

If you’re unsure about how to go about requesting accommodations or feel like your rights are being violated, it may be helpful to seek out legal assistance or contact organizations like the Fair Housing Act Center for guidance. With persistence and advocacy, individuals with disabilities can help ensure their right to fair housing.

Asking for reasonable accommodations is only one part of the equation – determining what constitutes ‘reasonable’ is another hurdle altogether.

What is the process for determining reasonable accommodations in housing?

The process for determining what modifications or adjustments are considered reasonable in terms of living arrangements can be complicated and involves various factors to consider.

One of the most important factors is whether the accommodation will enable individuals with disabilities to use and enjoy their housing on an equal basis with others. This means that accommodations must be effective in removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing, using, or enjoying housing.

Another factor that is considered when determining reasonable accommodations in housing is whether the accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the provider’s operations. In other words, it shouldn’t impose undue financial or administrative burdens on landlords or property managers. However, this doesn’t mean that landlords can refuse to provide necessary accommodations simply because they don’t want to spend money on them. Rather, they must show that providing such accommodations would create an undue hardship.

It’s important to note that landlords are required by law to engage in an interactive process with tenants who request reasonable accommodations. This means that they must work together with tenants to identify appropriate solutions based on individual needs and circumstances. Failure to engage in this process can result in legal liability and penalties for discrimination against people with disabilities.

With a clear understanding of how these factors influence decision-making around reasonable accommodations in housing, we can now move on to explore some examples of what may qualify as such modifications or adjustments without imposing undue burden on providers.

What are some examples of reasonable accommodations and modifications in housing?

Housing and Accommodation

Examples of modifications that may be considered reasonable include installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways for wheelchair access, or allowing a service animal to live with the tenant. These modifications can greatly enhance a tenant’s quality of life and independence.

For instance, grab bars can help prevent falls and increase stability while using the toilet or shower. Widening doorways can make it easier for individuals who use wheelchairs or walkers to navigate their home independently.

Another example of a reasonable accommodation is adjusting the height of kitchen counters or cabinets for individuals who use wheelchairs or have other physical limitations. This modification can allow tenants to prepare meals and perform daily tasks without assistance from others. Additionally, lowering light switches and thermostats can improve accessibility for people with mobility impairments.

In addition to physical modifications, reasonable accommodations may also include changes in policies or procedures by landlords or property managers. For example, allowing tenants with disabilities additional time to pay rent due to medical expenses, providing written notices in accessible formats such as Braille or large print, or assigning parking spaces closer to an entrance for individuals with limited mobility.

When it comes to housing accommodations, understanding what types of modifications are considered reasonable and necessary is crucial. Now that you know some common examples of reasonable accommodations and modifications in housing settings, let’s explore how the room selection process works for these accommodations.

How does the housing room selection process work for accommodations?

Discovering how you can select the perfect room for your needs is an important step in making sure you have a comfortable living space that meets your specific requirements. When it comes to housing accommodations, universities and landlords are required by law to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. This means that if you have a disability-related need, such as needing a wheelchair accessible room or having a service animal, you may be eligible for special accommodations.

To begin the process of selecting an appropriate room, you should first contact your university’s accessibility resources office or your landlord. They’ll likely ask for documentation of your disability and specific requests for accommodation. From there, they’ll work with you to identify appropriate rooms on campus or within the property that meet your needs.

It’s important to note that not all rooms may be available or suitable for certain accommodations. In addition to identifying suitable rooms, accessibility resources offices and landlords can also assist with modifications to existing rooms. For example, if you require grab bars in the bathroom or lowered countertops in the kitchen, these changes can often be made with proper approval and coordination.

By working closely with these resources, you can ensure that your living space is tailored specifically to meet your individual needs.

Transition: Now that we’ve discussed how the housing room selection process works for accommodations, let’s take a closer look at what role accessibility resources play in ensuring equal access in housing accommodations.

What is the role of accessibility resources in housing accommodations?

Let’s take a closer look at how accessibility resources ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities in selecting and modifying their living spaces. Accessibility resources are critical to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities to choose and modify their living spaces as those without disabilities.

Some examples of these resources include wheelchair ramps, grab bars, lowered countertops, and wider doorways. Accessibility resources can also play a role in ensuring that housing accommodations meet the needs of tenants with disabilities.

For example, if someone has a visual impairment, they may need Braille labels on light switches or appliances in order to navigate their space more easily. Similarly, someone who is deaf or hard of hearing may require visual alarms or flashing lights to be installed throughout their living area.

So how do housing providers and landlords handle housing accommodation requests? They are required under federal law to provide reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities. This means that they must make necessary modifications or adjustments to policies or procedures so that people with disabilities have equal access to housing opportunities.

In some cases, it might mean installing an accessibility resource like a ramp or lowering countertops, but it could also involve making changes such as allowing service animals in no-pet buildings or waiving fees for certain accommodations.

How do housing providers and landlords handle housing accommodation requests?

As a tenant with a disability, you may wonder how your housing provider or landlord will handle your request for necessary modifications or adjustments to ensure equal access. Fortunately, the Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for tenants with disabilities.

This means that landlords must make changes to their policies and practices, as well as physical modifications to the property, in order to allow for full use and enjoyment of the space by tenants with disabilities.

When making a request for an accommodation, it’s important to communicate clearly and provide any necessary documentation or information that supports your request. Your landlord may ask for more information about your disability and how it impacts your ability to use the property.

They may also want documentation from a medical professional stating that the requested accommodation is necessary. It’s important to remember that while landlords cannot deny reasonable requests for accommodations, they can deny requests that would cause undue financial burden or fundamentally alter the nature of their business.

Overall, it’s important for tenants with disabilities to understand their rights under fair housing laws and work collaboratively with their landlords when requesting accommodations.

In the next section, we’ll discuss what specific information is needed when making these requests so you can ensure all necessary documents are prepared ahead of time.

What information is needed for housing accommodation requests?

Now that you know how housing providers and landlords handle accommodation requests, let’s talk about what information is needed for such requests.

When requesting a housing accommodation due to a disability or medical condition, it’s important to provide sufficient documentation to support your request. This can include medical records, therapy notes, or letters from healthcare professionals explaining the need for the requested accommodation.

Additionally, it’s crucial to clearly outline the specific accommodation being requested and how it relates to your disability or medical condition. For example, if you’re requesting an emotional support animal as an accommodation, you should explain how the animal helps alleviate symptoms of your diagnosed mental health condition.

It’s also important to be aware of any deadlines or timeframes for submitting accommodation requests. Some housing providers may require requests to be submitted within a certain timeframe before move-in or may have specific forms that need to be completed.

By providing all necessary information in a timely manner and following any specific procedures outlined by the housing provider or landlord, you can help ensure a smoother process for obtaining accommodations that meet your needs.


Congratulations! You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of housing accommodations and the rights associated with them.

As you go about your search for accommodation, it’s vital to know that you have the right to request reasonable accommodations based on your disability status. However, keep in mind that landlords and housing providers also have obligations to ensure that these accommodations are provided within reason.

To make the process smoother, be sure to gather all necessary information before submitting a request for accommodation. This may include medical documentation or proof of disability status.

Remember, reasonable accommodations can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. So, it’s essential to work closely with accessibility resources provided by your school or organization to determine what works best for you.

In conclusion, knowledge of housing accommodations is crucial for anyone seeking fair treatment in their search for suitable accommodation. By understanding the rights and obligations regarding reasonable housing accommodations, requesting them appropriately while providing necessary information will ultimately lead to a more comfortable living situation.

Remember always, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to reasonable housing accommodations; everyone has unique needs that must be considered during this process.


  1. https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/reasonable_accommodations_and_modifications#:~:text=The%20Fair%20Housing%20Act%20makes,public%20and%20common%20use%20areas.
  2. https://www.justice.gov/crt/us-department-housing-and-urban-development#:~:text=Under%20the%20Act%2C%20a%20resident,service%20because%20of%20her%20disability.

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