2 min read
27 Mar


The question of whether disabled tenants can be evicted is nuanced, requiring an understanding of various legal frameworks designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. These protections are primarily rooted in the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and state-specific laws, offering safeguards against discrimination and unjust eviction based on disability. 

Understanding the Fair Housing Act (FHA) Protections

 The FHA prohibits discrimination against tenants based on disability among other factors. This federal law ensures that disabled tenants: 

  • Cannot be evicted solely because of their disability: Landlords must not use a tenant's disability as a reason for eviction, ensuring that all tenants are treated equally. 
  • Are entitled to reasonable accommodations: Landlords are required to make reasonable adjustments to policies or premises to allow disabled tenants equal use and enjoyment of their dwelling. This can include modifications to the rental unit or common areas at the landlord's expense, without altering the nature of the housing provided. 

State Laws and Additional Protections

 While the FHA provides a broad framework of protections, many states have enacted additional laws to further protect disabled tenants from eviction. For instance, some states: 

  • Offer enhanced accommodations: Beyond the federal requirements, certain states may have stricter standards for what constitutes reasonable accommodations for disabled tenants. 
  • Regulate eviction proceedings: Specific procedures must be followed when evicting a tenant, with additional considerations given to tenants with disabilities. For example, a judge may consider the tenant's disability and the necessity for accommodation during the eviction process. 

The Role of Reasonable Accommodations in Preventing Eviction

 A critical aspect of protecting disabled tenants from eviction lies in the concept of reasonable accommodations. These accommodations could range from modifying rent payment schedules to altering unit accessibility features. If a tenant's disability-related needs are not being met, landlords are encouraged to work collaboratively to find solutions that support the tenant's continued residency. 

Navigating the Eviction Process with a Disability

 Should a disabled tenant face eviction proceedings, they have the right to: 

  • Present their case in court: Tenants can raise their disability as a legal defense, demonstrating how requested accommodations have not been met. 
  • Seek legal assistance: Disabled tenants facing eviction are encouraged to seek legal advice from attorneys specializing in disability rights and housing law. 

Conclusion: Balancing Rights and Responsibilities

While the legal system provides robust protections for disabled tenants, it's essential for both tenants and landlords to understand their rights and responsibilities. By fostering open communication and seeking reasonable accommodations, it's often possible to prevent eviction and ensure that disabled tenants enjoy equal access to housing. For specific advice and support, disabled tenants facing eviction should consult legal professionals familiar with housing law and disability rights.

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