Reasonable accommodation (or reasonable modification) requests from residents with disabilities can come in many different forms. Here is a handy reasonable accommodation (or reasonable modification) request checklist for leasing office team members to use:
1. A reasonable accommodation must be requested. In other words, management cannot make the request for the resident.
2. A reasonable accommodation request can be made at any time, by the person with a disability (resident or applicant), by a family member of the person with a disability, or by someone else who is acting on behalf of the person with a disability. There is no maximum number of requests a resident can submit.
3. A reasonable accommodation request does not have to be in writing. It can be done orally or by any other effective method. To be sure, my preference is that the leasing office receive requests in writing – but there is no requirement that a resident do so.
4. There are no “magic” words. As long as it can be determined that the resident has a disability, that he or she has made a request, and that the request is reasonably related to his or her disability – that is good enough.
5. Management may request documentation to the extent necessary to verify the disability and how that disability is related to the reasonable accommodation or modification request.
6. Do not seek confidential medical records of your residents.
7. Disability verifications can come from a variety of medical, mental, physical, or psychological health care professionals.
As I have previously written, management must review each request. We do not have to grant each specific request, but we must evaluate and use the interactive process to see what is reasonable. Try to respond within a reasonable time. Always respond in writing. And keep a copy of our response in the resident’s file.
Just A Thought.