As a disabled apartment home hunter, you can run into many obstacles in finding the "perfect" apartment. Multifamily apartment homes built after March 13, 1991 must be accessible and usable by those with disabilities according to the Fair Housing Act.
This does not mean they must be fully ready for your use and excludes homes built before that time. However, the Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act requires landlords to make housing accommodations within reason to those with physical or mental disabilities. So here are three reasonable accommodations you are entitled to ask for.
1. Assigned Parking Spaces
If you are in a wheelchair or have trouble walking, having a parking space near your unit or make it easy to get to your unit is considered reasonable. Many apartment units have handicap accessible parking available but do not have assigned parking spaces. Asking the landlord to assign you a space is not expensive at all. You can offer to cover the expenses this if it will make things easier.
2. Allowing a Service Animal in Your Unit
Some apartment homes may not allow service or assistant animals. If they do, they may charge a pet deposit or monthly pet fee. If you have a service animal, according to HUD, they are excluded from this charge.
If you need the service animal for your care or emotional support, be prepared to provide a doctor's statement or your service animals' health records. As the fee may be waived, you would be expected to cover any damages your service animal caused.
3. Alterations of Sinks and Faucets
Standard sinks with cabinets make it hard for someone using a wheelchair. If you have limited mobility with your hands, having a faucet that moves simply up and down may be better for you.
You can ask the landlord to allow you to make changes to the unit such as changing out the sinks and faucets for accessibility. Whatever the obstacle, while you are seeking reasonable accommodations don't forget to consider adding a touch of style to the unit.
There are beautiful pedestal sinks you can consider. You can remove the cabinets and mount them to the wall on the side of the sink, provided there is enough space.
So as you can see, you can still move into the apartment home of your dreams. Just ensure to speak with the landlord and come up with reasonable accommodations together.
For more information or help finding disability access apartments, contact a real estate agent.