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Landlord and housing provider responsibilities

If you are a landlord, you need to comply with  housing laws that protect people with disabilities

Key housing responsibilities to know

Reasonable accommodations and modifications

A reasonable accommodation is a change or exception to a rule or service. This change helps a person with a disability use their apartment or condo and the common areas. As a landlord, you can’t charge  extra fees or deposits for allowing a reasonable accommodation.

Examples of reasonable accommodations

  • Allowing residents to have service animals without paying a pet fee
  • Moving a resident’s assigned parking space closer to their apartment because they have difficulty walking long distances

A reasonable modification is a change to the structure of an apartment, condo, or common area where a person with a disability lives. Common areas are places like the clubhouse, laundry facilities, and pool area. A reasonable modification helps residents with disabilities more fully access these areas.   

If a resident wants to modify their apartment to make it more physically accessible, the resident typically pays for the costs of the changes.

Examples of reasonable modifications

  • A resident wants to install grab bars in the shower
  • A resident needs to widen a doorway in their apartment
  • A Deaf resident wants to install a flashing fire alarm

Learn more about reasonable accommodations and modifications.

Service and emotional support animals

An assistance animal is an animal that assists, performs tasks, or provides emotional support for a person with a disability. An assistance animal can be a service animal or an emotional support animal. An assistance animal is not a pet.

Learn more information about service and emotional support animals in housing. 

Effective communication

You need to provide information in a way that every resident can understand.


  • Sending notices and flyers electronically to a resident who is blind and uses speech to text software
  • Having an interpreter for resident meetings for a Deaf resident

 Learn more about effective communication. 

Physical accessibility

Physical accessibility requirements for an apartment building depend on many factors. You may have some responsibilities to make certain areas physically accessible. 

Learn about physical accessibility requirements from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  

Get technical assistance from HUD

HUD offers resources and information to help landlords and housing developers comply with the Fair Housing Act.

Learn more about fair housing instruction, resources, support and technical guidance.

Ask us

If you have questions about your responsibilities as a landlord, we can help.

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