Must landlords provide reserved parking spaces for disabled tenants who request it?
Yes, the Fair Housing Act requires landlords to make reasonable accommodations in their rules, policies, practices, or services when needed to provide persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use or enjoy a dwelling. A reserved parking space is a common reasonable accommodation request for tenants who have mobility impairment or other disability which makes walking difficult.
Even if parking is available on a first come, first served basis, disabled tenants can request a reserved parking space to allow them equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. Landlords cannot refuse to accommodate such a request even if they are in full compliance with local codes for providing accessible parking for all tenants.
The space requested may either be a van-accessible handicapped parking space or just a general reserved parking space which is not handicapped accessible. This depends on the needs of the tenant making the request.
Decisions about granting reserved parking spaces should be made on an individual basis. The landlord must pay the costs of installing a reserved parking space, including painting lines, installing signage, enforcement, etc.
Landlords should follow these guidelines:
• Ask disabled tenants who need an accessible parking space whether they need an extra-wide space with an access aisle or only a regular-size parking space nearest to their front door or on the most accessible route to the front door.
• Post signs that the designated parking spaces are reserved and enforced.
• Enforce tenants’ reserved accessible parking spaces.
• Standard accommodations policies can be used for accessible parking requests.
See our article in the newest issue of RENT Magazine Page 58