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Housing Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodation
By Jeffrey R. Nuckols, Esq.
The Florida Fair Housing Act (FFHA), like the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), provides that it is unlawful to discriminate in the rental of a dwelling to a renter with a handicap including discrimination by refusing “make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” § 760.23(9)(b) Fla. Stat. (2015). Click here to read more.
Making a failure-to-accommodate claim requires a claimant to “prove that (1) he is disabled within the meaning of the FHA, (2) he requested a reasonable accommodation, (3) the requested accommodation was necessary to afford him an [equal] opportunity to use and enjoy his dwelling, and (4) the defendants refused to make the accommodation.” Philippeaux v. Apartment Inv. & Mgmt. Co. (11th Cir., 2015).
There is a lot to unpack in those 4 requirements, but let’s take just number 2, reasonable accommodation. Reasonableness is a broad concept, so let’s take just one aspect: whether the requested accommodation would place an undue financial burden on the landlord. In the case cited above, the renter asked to be permitted to park on the ground floor of the parking garage because of his handicap and because his apartment was on the ground floor. Unfortunately, the landlord had leased the entire first floor of the parking garage to a valet parking business, so the requested accommodation would have required that the landlord break that lease resulting in an undue financial burden. The Court determined, then, that the requested accommodation was unreasonable.
Jeff Nuckols’ main practice area is personal injury. If you have a question about an injury that may have been the fault of someone else, call Jeff at DKN Legal at 321-329-5449.
Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice nor as forming an attorney-client relationship or any other form of legal representation. Consult with an attorney at DKN Legal or another attorney of your choice for legal advice.