Who pays for remodeling when a tenant suffers an injury?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Real Estate

Property maintenance and improvements can be a source of disputes between tenants who are renting a home and the landlord who owns and maintains the property. Landlords would prefer to keep their maintenance costs as low as possible, which means they may delay major projects and upgrades to their facilities whenever possible, to the frustration of their tenants.

This can create some pressure on their relationship with their tenants, as one of the biggest perks of renting rather than owning a home is that someone else has to replace burst pipes and handle other major home repair projects.

Occasionally, tenants living in rental housing will find themselves in need of special accommodations. They may have experienced some kind of debilitating medical event or gotten hurt in a car accident. They may need wheelchair-accessible bathrooms or other changes to the space that they rent in order to continue living there. Who typically pays for the cost to renovate an apartment based on a tenant’s disabilities? Is this the responsibility of a landlord and can a landlord be held accountable for dragging their feet?

Landlords are generally required to make certain accommodations

When a tenant has a documented medical condition and requires certain accommodations for basic accessibility or safety, the expenses for making those changes may fall to their landlord. Under federal disability laws, businesses that provide services, including landlords renting to tenants, should offer reasonable accommodations that allow individuals to make use of their services regardless of their physical condition.

In some cases involving small-time landlords and major renovations, a landlord could potentially fight back against modification requests on the basis that they pose an undue hardship. Often a landlord will be responsible to install wheelchair ramps or make other adjustments to a unit to make it accessible to someone with it disabling medical condition.

Disability accommodation disputes may lead to litigation

Landlords may discriminate against certain tenants, potentially leading to civil litigation. Tenants can also sometimes be unreasonable, demanding accommodations that are beyond a landlord’s capabilities. When there are significant disputes related to real property, people may seek the support of a civil judge to resolve the dispute and appropriately apply disability and landlord-tenant law to the situation at hand.

Learning more about rental laws can help both property owners and tenants concerned about the challenges that may be associated with accommodation-related issues.