As your humble Fair Housing Defense blog editor has written in this space many times before, reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification requests come in all shapes and sizes.  While there are certainly some requests that are more common than others (such as a service animal, installing grab bars, or lowering a light switch) – there is no complete list for what might be an appropriate reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification.  What matters for management is that we engage in the interactive process by reviewing, evaluating, and responding to every accommodation or modification request we receive in a timely manner.

That being said, one request I have not seen mandated by a court or agency is to require management to reduce the going rent on a unit solely because of a claimed disability.  Changing a date rent is due?  Letting someone out of his or her lease?  Waiving a transfer fee to permit a resident to move to a handicapped accessible unit?  Those are indeed all certainly possible if the appropriate circumstances exist.  But, reducing rent for an apartment simply because a resident (or applicant) has a disability?  That is harder because it would be giving a preference to the disabled resident – and what the reasonable accommodation/modification laws are trying to accomplish is to ensure that everyone has the same (equal) opportunity to use and enjoy their housing.

I have absolutely seen that specific accommodation requested by residents, but I have not seen a judge find it reasonable.  To be sure, might management agree to do that?  Sure, management could make that decision to assist a valued resident — but having a court mandate it is a different story.

Just A Thought.