Finding an apartment in California is never easy. For individuals with disabilities, it can be extremely challenging to find a place that fits your needs, especially if you require special accommodations of any kind. It can be intimidating to request housing modifications, such as permission to install a ramp at a rental house or modify the countertop height in an apartment space. You may worry the property owner will reject your application in favor of an “easier” tenant. However, this would be in violation of the Fair Housing Act and actionable by law.
You have a right to request accessibility
Under federal law, you have a right to live in a rental unit regardless of your disability. Legally, the property owner must treat you the same way they would any other tenant.
You also have the right to request reasonable accommodations so that you can enjoy the apartment and common areas in your complex just like all the other tenants. However, there must be a true link between the disability and the modification you are requesting. You may need to demonstrate the relevancy of the modification with a statement or get a doctor’s note for confirmation of the legitimacy of your request.
Who pays for accessibility?
If you are modifying a temporary apartment where you will only stay for a year or so, it’s possible you will have to pay for the modifications if they will make the apartment uncomfortable for future tenants. To ensure legal protection, run all modifications by your property owner.