AgentRentals

Wheelchair access retrofit: Who pays?

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Q: We have lived in our apartment, a ground-level unit in a new complex, for several years. Now my husband, who has multiple sclerosis, needs to use a wheelchair. Several of the doorways are too narrow to let the chair go through -- I have to help him up, support him, then fold and reopen the chair on the other side. When we raised the issue with our landlord, he told us that modifying the doorways is possible, but that we'd have to pay for it. We don't have that kind of money. Do you have any suggestions? --Sarah and Tim S. A: Your landlord is correct in noting that modifications to the living quarters of a person with a disability are usually the financial responsibility of the tenant. Widening doorways, lowering countertops and lowering light switches are among the modifications most often requested by tenants with disabilities.In the majority of cases, the work required to implement changes like these is reasonable, and landlords must grant the request -- but they don...