A gentleman called saying his mom was often tripping over the bathroom threshold of her rental unit. He said in the past two years he had asked the property manager to take out the threshold many times. The property manager eventually just stopped responding to the request. The gentleman knew his mom, who has a disability, would eventually fall and wanted to know what he could do.
Because of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a person with a disability has the right to use their own money to make reasonable modifications to a rental unit. The renter could be asked to return the unit to the original condition if it prevents re-renting. The request for the change must be directly related to the disability.
There is a product called a double-beveled threshold that many have used with a great deal of success. Property managers sometimes have limited exposure and need assistance accessing established landlord/tenant rules, regulations, and laws.
Requests to the landlord for permission to make reasonable modifications to a property could include a number of things such as installing hand rails in the bathroom, ramps, enlarging doorway openings, or even changing the cabinets for access. The property has to be returned to the original condition if it prevents the landlord from renting it out or if it reduces the market for potential renters. As an example, a big ramp on the front of the house may reduce attractiveness of the home and the number of potential applicants. On the other hand, a larger doorway, may be an improvement to the marketability.