All tenants should know what they are entitled to, and there are other considerations if you're part of a protected class. There are certain laws concerning disabilities and specific rights to be aware of. Keep on reading for information to keep in mind for tenants renting with a disability.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a disabled person is defined as "a person who has a mental or physical impairment that limits one or more major life activities." This includes mental illness, hearing, mobility, or visual impairments, intellectual disabilities, and AIDS-related disorders, to name a few. As someone who fits this definition, you may be subject to mistreatment and discrimination.
Under the ADA and various federal (the Fair Housing Act), state, and local laws, Bay Area renters are protected against housing discrimination on the basis of disability. Some examples may include the following:
Other violations revolve around conversations with prospective tenants. For instance, a landlord can't ask if a tenant is able to live independently. Other unlawful questions:
The following are acceptable questions, but are only allowed if they are posed to everyone and not just targeted to certain individuals:
Disabled tenants are entitled to request a reasonable accommodation. This is an adjustment or an exception to a service that may be needed for a person with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to use/enjoy the housing, such as a service animal request.
You're also allowed to make a request for a modification to the unit (should be in writing) to enable you to use the space. You can make this or any request, as long as there is a relationship between the modification/accommodation and the disability; the landlord is allowed to ask for proof that the request is necessary.
The costs generally fall on the landlord to make out of pocket, but they aren't required if it's "unreasonable." This means that the shift would result in an undue burden on the landlord or is a major change in the property, like an elevator request.
After you've made your written request and it's considered unreasonable, the suggested approach is to work through a reasonable compromise. However, you have the right to file a discrimination complaint if your landlord declines after receiving adequate proof of necessity. This is why you may want to seek help from a knowledgeable tenants' rights attorney. Here at Wolford Wayne we can assist you with this and addressing other discriminatory treatment. Contact us today for further information.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. Tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board.Read More
Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two former San Francisco tenants who were evicted via an Owner Move-In Eviction and owner failed to occupy the unit as her primary place of residence.Read More
Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owners’ refusal to provide him with alternative housing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
Recovered for tenant who was injured when their stairway railing collapsed at the tenant’s Mission District apartment building.Read More
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment house due to severe habitability defects including mold and water leaks.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.