Handicap Aside…Rental Denied

Many individuals who are denied housing believe that they have been unfairly treated because of their handicap or disability.  None of the laws that prohibit discrimination against such persons, however, obligate a property-owner to ignore a prospective tenant’s inability to make the monthly payments or dispense with the requirement that a governmental entity guarantee those payments.  The courts have interpreted the Fair Housing Act to require the prospective tenant to be “qualified” to rent irrespective of his/her disability, and it is incumbent on the plaintiff to demonstrate that he/she was “qualified to rent or purchase housing and was rejected…”  The Americans with Disabilities Act also states that the disabled person claiming discrimination must be a “qualified individual,” and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 indicates that the applicant for housing must “otherwise be qualified.”  If a lease requires proof of financial ability or a governmental rent guarantee, and the individual cannot produce one, the landlord may not be discriminating in refusing to rent.  If you are a landlord accused of such discrimination or an individual who believes he/she was wronged, please contact us for a free consultation and evaluation.