Form: Reasonable Accommodation Letter
Authored By: Florida Justice Technology Center
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Read First - Important Information
This program is made to be general and applies to most situations. It may not include all the details which may be important to your situation. This program is not intended as legal advice. You are preparing this letter on your own without the help of an attorney. Using this program does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney, legal services program, or legal aid program.
Using this program does NOT guarantee that your landlord will give you the changes you request. You may have to take additional steps. You may have to:
- send a follow-up letter,
- file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD],
- file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations,
- get a lawyer to help you, or
- file a lawsuit.
Who should use this form?
This form should be used only by a resident of Florida who has a physical or mental disability. The form can be used only for requesting a change where you already live. If you need a change so that you can rent a new apartment or home or to be eligible for a housing program that you do not already participate in, this form is not for you.
There are some situations where the law does not require the landlord to make requested changes:
- If your landlord lives in the same building where you rent and the number of rental units, not counting the landlord's, are three or less, the landlord is not required to make the requested changes.
- If your landlord rents single family homes and owns three or less rental homes and does not use a real estate agent or broker, the landlord is not required to make the requested changes.
- If your landlord rents mobile homes and owns three or less rental mobile homes and does not use a real estate agent or broker, the landlord is not required to make the requested changes.
- If you are being evicted for non-payment of rent, you cannot get a reasonable accommodation that will reduce your rent. If you cannot catch up with your rent and avoid the eviction, there is probably no point to ask for changes for your present residence since it will not stop the eviction.
- If you are being evicted because you were involved with illegal drugs or hurting or threatening to hurt someone near your rental unit, you may still be evicted even if your behavior is related to your disability. If you cannot avoid the eviction, there is probably no point to ask for the changes for your present residence since it will not stop the eviction.
- If the landlord would have a good reason to evict you even if the changes were made, there is probably no point to ask for the changes for your present residence since it will not stop the eviction.
There are other situations covered by the Fair Housing Act which are not covered by this program. These other situations include owners of cooperatives, condominiums, or homes where there are homeowner associations; students in dormitories; and individuals living in supportive housing, group homes, assisted living facility or nursing home.
What Type of Change Can Be Requested?
The law requires landlords and public housing authorities to make reasonable changes or adjustments in their rules, services, or buildings if the changes help a disabled person live there. Changes to the landlord's rules or services are called accommodations.
Examples of accommodations are:
- A reserved parking space closer to the building entrance.
- Permission to have a service animal.
- Changing the date the rent is due because the disability check comes after the rent due date.
Changes to the physical building are modifications. The requested modification must be a reasonable one and cannot significantly change the building. If the landlord agrees to the modification, the tenant may have to pay for the changes to the structure unless living in subsidized housing or housing that receives federal funds.
Examples of modifications are:
- Adding a wheelchair ramp.
- Installing a lower sink in the bathroom.
When requesting a change the tenant does not tell the landlord the nature or severity of the disability. The landlord does not see the tenant's medical records. The only documentation a landlord can get is a Proof of Need form which is signed by a medical provider and states that the tenant is disabled and needs the requested changes because of the disability. A Proof of Need form is also created by this program.
How long does it take to complete the forms?
Once you have collected all the necessary information, it should take about 25 minutes to complete the questions used to generate the forms.
What information do I need to complete the forms?
- The landlord's name and complete address.
- The changes you are asking for.
- How these changes are related to your disability.
- To find an Attorney: Contact the County Bar Lawyer Referral Service in your county or call the Florida Bar Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011
- To locate a Legal Aid office in your area go to http://www.lawhelp.org
- For additional Information about Reasonable Accommodation go to http://www.fairhousinghelper.com/reasonableaccommodations.pdf
- For additional Information about Reasonable Modification go to http://www.fairhousinghelper.com/reasonablemodifications.pdf
- To File a Complaint with HUD go to http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint
- To File a Complaint with Florida Commission on Human Relations go to http://fchr.state.fl.us/
- To find your landlord’s name and address go to http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/property/appraisers.html. Select the Property Appraisers Website for the county in which the property is located. Use the address where you live to do a property search. The owner’s name and address should be listed as the mailing address.
Updated: May 4, 2017