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Landlord won't rent to family with disabled child; parents accuse him of discrimination. AITA?

Landlord won't rent to family with disabled child; parents accuse him of discrimination. AITA?

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When these landlords are reluctant to rent to a family with a disabled child, they ask Reddit:

"AITAH for not renting to a family with a disabled child?"

We own a duplex. We live one unit and rent out the other unit. This place only has a single driveway that fits two cars and we use both of the spots.

So we make sure any prospective tenants to the other unit know before hand that the place does not come with a parking spot. Even without a parking spot we’ve never had a tenant have an issue with it since we let them know up front.

I was showing the unit to a couple the other day and told them about the parking situation. The woman immediately said that wasn’t going to work and they were going to need a parking spot because their son is disabled.

They also brought up them needing to install ramps and other stuff before they moved in. I told them we were fine with them installing ramps and stuff like that, but we weren’t budging on the parking spot.

Side note: Parking is really annoying and hard to get in our neighborhood because you can only park on one side of the street.

The man said legally we had to give them a parking spot if there was one on the property since their son is disabled. I don’t know about that, but I know for damn sure we do not have to rent to them and they just seemed like the type of people to make things difficult. So I told them that this wasn’t going to work out.

They tried to claim I was discriminating against them and that it was illegal. I’m assuming they never rented from owner occupied residences before so I explained how it wasn’t illegal and even showed them proof online that it wasn’t.

They really tried to lay on the guilt a lot after that. Asking me if I know how hard it is to find a home in this district that is affordable and handicap accessible.

All they were asking by for was a parking spot for their disabled child. I get that it must be very hard for them, but this is our home first. It doesn’t really make sense to rent to someone that’s just going to make our lives more difficult when we could rent to someone that doesn’t have such a requirement. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

difficultperformer writes:

NTA. Youre not discriminating for "having a disabled son" as theyre trying to twist it. You told them the rental did not come with parking space, they were obviously free to sign a lease with you for the housing, but it didnt include off street parking.

They got belligerent and tried to claim you were discriminating - for not conceding something that is YOURS for personal use, when it isnt included in the rental agreement theyd be signing..... they were free to enter a lease, and free to choose not to. They became rude and chose not to agree to the terms.

Therefore they do not get a lease, as the "rental with an off street parking spot" isnt a thing that exists in this scenario. It was never up for debate. They came to look at a rental with street parking - if its a dealbreaker then this wasnt what they were looking for. No right to bully you to change the lease and offer your personal use spaces.

worshipmyalter writes:

ESH. HOWEVER, you'd want to check with a lawyer because this could be used against you for an ADA violation. If they had signed the lease and then disclosed they needed handicapped parking (which IS actually required to have in the US under the ADA), they would legally be able to do this.

They're asking for reasonable accomodation and parking, in the USA, is always seen as reasonable accomodation. It doesn't matter if you don't have parking otherwise.

This is a bait and switch routine that a lot of disabled people, especially with service dogs, do because landlords would do what you're doing, which is deny renting to them if they disclose the information beforehand.

Totally legal. I actually got into trouble with my last job because I didn't disclose I was disabled and they found out and then insisted that I get an accomodations list to continue working there. I got one made up, despite my disabilities not interfering with the Job, and man, they got BIG MAD about it.

scarcity7 writes:

You dodged a bullet man. They’re bullies and would beyond a problem. They’re just looking at the place and already they demand parking when the unit does not come with parking.. they say tough shit it’s ours you have to.. then they tell you just because they showed up you legally have to let them in.

Be glad they let you know up front what scamming shitheads they are can you imagine if you let them in? And they wonder why the can’t find a place. They were stupid about it. They could have rented and then made all the hassle.

I’ve had disabled tenants. Built special needs things for storage or wheelchairs etc.. no problem. Guaranteed checks, often have had it rough and been discriminated against and screwed over.. grateful to be treated with the same basic dignity we show everyone else.

This was a situation where they’d get in and you’d never get them out and they’d stop paying and it would always be we have a disabled kid.

dontlikerice writes:

NTA - I was a landlord for 15 years and this had my spidey sense tingling. They would have weaponized tf out of their kid as an excuse to demand all sorts of things. Being demanding and entitled up front like that shows just how high maintenance they'll be. They will be your worst nightmare if you let them in.

Just showing them the place had them citing laws to you, incorrect as they were. They'd not hesitate to go the legal route on whatever issue of the day they were demanding.

They may be having a hard time finding accommodations, but they're not making their path any easier with their attitude and demands. There is no way in hell I'd rent to them. Not because they have a disabled child, but because of their litigious threats and unreasonable demands before they were even accepted as tenants.

equalbrillient8 writes:

Depending on the size of your driveway, they might need the entire width for their accessible van (depending if it’s a side or back loading one) so even if a spot was available it probably wouldn’t have worked for them anyways.

They assumed they were getting place and then tried to bully you into giving them what they wanted. NTA but just be mindful of wording in the future (not that I think you said anything wrong). Good luck.

So is this a NTA or ESH situation? What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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