Your Fair Housing Defense blog editor got a good question today that I thought merited an entry. Is a housing provider required to provide a reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification to a resident (or applicant) if an accommodation has not been requested?
The answer is no. Before management can make a reasonable accommodation or modification, the resident or applicant must make a request. To be sure, there is no required format for a request. It can be oral or written. It can come from a resident, applicant, or family member. The key is that management must be put on notice that there is a pending reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification request.
Now, does that mean management must grant every request exactly as sought by the resident? Again, the answer is no. But, management must review, evaluate, and respond to every request. If we cannot do what the resident wants, is there something else that would meet the needs of the resident? We must always engage in the interactive process to determine how best to meet the needs of our residents and those applying to live in our communities.
Finally, the law is also clear that an unreasonable delay in responding can be deemed as a failure to make the requested accommodation. Failing to respond will more than likely ensure you will need the services of a lawyer like me.
Just A Thought.