Fair Housing 101 | Lesson 3 | Definitions of Disability.
As a landlord, if you hire a professional property management company in San Diego, it is solid layer of protection if they keep up with California Fair Housing Laws.
Q: What are the definitions of disability and when identified, what are the rules of confidentiality for a landlord or rental agent?
A: Definitions are more broadly defined in CA than in Federal law and include having any of the below listed impairments that limit or make it difficult for a person to stand or walk, breath, speak or hear, work or do simple tasks, socialize.
To summarize, those with mental/psychological, physical disability, certain medical conditions as well as recovered addicts, people with HIV or AIDS and alcoholics (unless their behavior creates disturbances to other tenants) as well as anyone who has been identified as disabled are considered to be protected under disability acts.
Not included are:
1. Those illegally using drugs.
2. Those convicted of manufacturing and distributing drugs.
3. Those who, by their behavior, pose a direct threat to other tenants or property.
– Those who have a history of drug or alcohol or drug abuse who have exhibited disruptive or destructive behavior in the past, but who have completed or are in a treatment program may be be considered for housing.
– Any disabled person or their representative may file a complaint for discrimination.
To insure confidentiality, landlords or rental agents may not:
1. Engage in discussion of nature of disability, even if brought up by prospective or current tenant.
2. Discuss nature of tenant’s disability with other staff, unless pertinent to meeting tenant’s need and never with other tenants.
3. Ask applicant about their disability unless property includes apartments reserved for those with disabilities, in that case, all applicants may be questioned to insure eligibility for same.
If you desire to work with the best property management San Diego has to offer, rental agents need written procedures to handle disability requests:
1. They should be easy for the applicant to follow.
2. Procedures should be followed closely to ensure all applicants are treated fairly and equally.
3. Agent should be accommodating if applicant cannot follow procedures exactly and ask for direction if necessary to insure compliance.
4. Applications should be handled in a timely fashion.