Disabled Persons’ Rights
Disabled tenants are protected against housing discrimination. California law defines disability broadly to include both physical and mental impairments, including: HIV/AIDS, hearing and visual impairments, mental retardation, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, heart disease, and more. California law broadly views disability as any condition that if left untreated limits a major life activity.
A landlord has a legal duty to reasonably accommodate a tenant’s disability, including providing accessible parking, having an accessible elevator, and, at times, making reasonable modifications.
Landlords must allow disabled tenants to make reasonable modifications to their living unit or common areas at the tenant’s expense, if needed for the person to comfortably and safely live in the unit. The tenant has the right to modify the living space to the extent necessary to make the space safe and comfortable, as long as the modifications will not make the unit unacceptable to the next tenant, or if the modification will be undone when the tenant moves out. Examples of modifications that a tenant may be able to undertake include lowering countertops for easier access from a wheelchair, installing special door handles due to limited hand use, modifying kitchen appliances to accommodate poor vision, and installing a ramp to allow wheelchair access. Such modifications must be reasonable and must be made with the landlord’s prior approval.
Disabled prospective tenants are also protected from discrimination. Landlords are prohibited from asking prospective renters about their disabilities.
The experienced attorneys at the Harouni Law Group can help you to determine if your landlord is discriminating against your disability, and wrongfully taking advantage of you, and can help you receive the financial compensation you deserve.