Attorney Michael Papuc represent landlords and tenants in eviction matters in San Francisco.
Landlords must make reasonable accommodations to tenants who are disabled under the Fair Housing Act. Unlawful discrimination under the FHA includes "a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford [handicapped] person[s] equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling ... "[42 USC § 3604(f)(3)(B)(brackets added); see Gamble v. City of Escondido (9th Cir. 1997) 104 F3d 300, 307—statute requires "reasonable accommodation" for housing, not health care facilities; Giebeler v. M & B Assocs.(9th Cir. 2003) 343 F3d 1143, 1146–1147— landlords have affirmative duty under FHA to reasonably accommodate disabled persons' needs with regard to physical accommodation as well as administrative rental policies; Shapiro v. Cadman Towers (2nd Cir. 1995) 51 F3d 328, 333–334 (modification of landlord's first-come/first-served parking assignment policy to accommodate tenant suffering from multiple sclerosis); see also McGary v. City of Portland (9th Cir. 2004) 386 F3d 1259, 1263–1264—homeowner with AIDS stated "reasonable accommodation" claim against City for denying request for additional time to clean yard to comply with nuisance abatement ordinance and putting lien on house to pay for clean-up]
A question arises where a disabled tenant is terrifying other tenants in the building. When the tenant is committing a nuisance, the landlord has a right to evict the tenant. A landlord has a duty to provide quiet enjoyment of the premises to tenants who rent from the landlord. When a tenant disturbs the other tenants, by creating a nusiance, the landlord has an affirmative duty to correct the problem, even if correction may require the landlord to evict a disabled tenant. "[T]he covenant of quiet enjoyment requires a reasonable response by the landlord, which may include conducting an investigation and thereafter, taking appropriate action, which may include, inter alia, the issuance of a warning to the offending party, the pursuit of injunctive relief against the tenant to enjoin the violation, or, if necessary, the commencement of eviction proceedings." [Andrews v. Mobile Aire Estates, supra, 125 CA4th at 584, 597.]