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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33249
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Recently my father fell in our kitchen (rental unit) and as

Customer Question

Recently my father fell in our kitchen (rental unit) and as a result had to get operated on his hip. Subsequently, he fell on the front steps (two steps) of the house, which lack hand rails and as a result he had to have a hip replacement. I would like to know if adding hand rails to the front stairs of the house is an expense that my landlord should bare? Also, as a result of his hip replacement he cannot lift his leg high enough to safely step into the bathtub. Are we allowed to convert the bathtub to a shower? If yes, is this an expense that the landlord should pay?
Thanks in advance and please advise.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..In situations where a property needs to be modified to accommodate a tenant, under the Fair Housing Act, the tenant is allowed to make reasonable modifications to the property so they can use it with landlord approval, but it is at their cost unless there is a local housing code that would make it mandatory..In most housing codes, anything 3 steps or over has to have a handrail, but 2 steps don't. So you can check with the local housing inspector to make sure, but if there is no requirement for a railing, then it would have to be at the tenant's expense..The same thing applies for the bathtub/shower conversion. Under the FHA, if reasonable, disabled tenants may modify a rental unit to make it safe and comfortable to live in. If the modification will create an inappropriate living condition for the next tenant, the landlord may agree to the modification upon the condition that the tenant restore the unit to its original condition prior to leaving. In this circumstance, the landlord may require the tenant to put money in an interest-bearing escrow account..All modifications are subject to approval with the landlord. The landlord may ask for a description of the proposed modification and any necessary building permits. Common modifications include wheelchair ramps, lowered countertops, and special door handles. ..thanksBarrister

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