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Dear TZ - Can I add a handrail to the shower in my rented apartment?

Real Estate Agent with Remax First Realty II 0790808

Dear TZ,

I am a tenant in a first floor apartment which has been modified to accomodate my wheelchair. Unfortunately, the bathtub hasn't been modified and my landlord is refusing to allow me to add handrails. Is he breaking the law and what can I do about it?

Renter RichieFile:Flickr - Official U.S. Navy Imagery - Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (20).jpg


Dear Richie,

The Federal Fair Housing Act applies to residential property and prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, and mental or physical handicap.

This law requires that a landlord permit tenants to make reasonable modifications, at their own expense, to the rented property or to common areas of the property if that modification is necessary for full enjoyment of the property. While we are not attorneys, it appears as though you may add handrails if you need them to use the bathtub safely.

The landlord may not require that you reverse these modifications unless the modifications would interfere with the next tenant's use of the property.

The Federal Fair Housing Act is enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Complaints must be filed iwthin one year of the violation and HUD has 100 days after the complaint to resolve the matter through mediation. Civil penalties up to $11,000 can be imposed for the first offense.

Good luck!

- TZ


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All opinions, information and data provided is deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Not intended to solicit other Brokers' clients. We cooperate with them fully. 

Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Shame on them..Your landlords should know better..tks for sharing with us.

Mar 02, 2013 03:10 AM
Richard Dolbeare
Inactive - Wailuku, HI
Living the Hawaii Lifestyle

The sticky part is reversal and whether it is required.

Mar 02, 2013 03:14 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

There are NONinvasive (no holes necessary) options that a local fair housing agency or rehabilitation firm can install that does not "modify" the existing shower, sheetrock or tile walls....those should be been included in your WRITTEN request....you could have installed these for less than $20 - so why didn't you?

Moen LR2308W

Mar 02, 2013 03:24 AM