Verification of Disability for Reasonable Accommodation
Under Massachusetts law, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled. For instance, a hearing impaired person may need a visual doorbell. Or, someone afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder may require an emotional support animal. But just because a tenant asks for it doesn’t mean you must allow it. You can separate out legitimate needs from false claims by requiring “verification of disability.”
Very important: It doesn’t matter whether you want to install the doorbell, or whether your apartment allows pets. In the case of a bona fide disability, there would have to be an unusually serious reason why you cannot make the accommodation, otherwise you may be found to be unlawfully discriminating.
- Related article: Federal protected classes
This form should be given to an applicant during the application stage as soon as you hear their request for an accommodation. It can also be used with an existing tenant whose life circumstances have changed.
The form has three sections to be filled out by three separate people. You fill out the landlord section. The tenant fills out the “applicant” section, and the “physician or other qualified professional” fills out the whole back page.