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example, you may not need to pay for reasonable modifications for your disability.)

If a landlord does not grant your request for a reasonable accommo- dation or reasonable modification, the landlord may be violating your rights under the “Fair Housing” (anti-discrimination) laws. Such requests for accommodation ensure that tenants with disabilities can enjoy access to housing just like a tenant or prospective tenant without disabilities. Some examples of reasonable accommodations and mod- ifications are: accepting alternative assurances of credit when the tenant has no credit history because of a disability; allowing a tenant who uses a wheelchair to build a ramp; allowing a service animal in a "no pets" apartment complex; and allowing a tenant who receives a disability ben- efits check on the third day of each month to pay the rent on that day without incurring late fees. A landlord whose property is covered by fair housing laws must grant a tenant's request for a reasonable accommo- dation unless the request is unduly burdensome, a fundamental alter- ation of the landlord's program, or unless there is another accommo- dation that is just as reasonable. Tenants should preferably make such requests in writing and provide a reasonable deadline for the landlord to respond. A landlord who has failed to reasonably accommodate a tenant’s disabilities has violated fair housing laws, and the tenant can file a complaint with HUD (1-800-669-9777) within one year of the date of the violation or file a lawsuit in court within two years.


If you wish to sue your landlord, you must list the landlord's name as the defendant and have the court papers served upon your landlord or your landlord's agent. If the owner's name and business street address have been furnished in writing to you, you must serve the court papers at that address. If that information has not been provided, and if the apartment complex is managed by a management company whose name and business address have been furnished in writing to you, that management company is the proper agent for service of court papers. Otherwise, the resident manager or rent collector serving the apartment complex can be the proper person upon whom court papers may be served.


A tenant's main duties are to pay rent on time and to follow the lease and house rules of the landlord by not disturbing others, violating the law on the property, or damaging the property. If the landlord feels you have violated one of these conditions, he or she might take some of the actions outlined in this section. Sometimes these actions are legal and sometimes they are illegal according to state law (regardless of what has been put in the lease agreement).


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