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Q: What is the difference between a “reasonable accommodation” and a “reasonable modification”?

A: A reasonable accommodation occurs when a landlord or property manager changes some policy in order to accommodate a tenant’s disability. For example, establishing a dedicated handicap parking space where one didn’t exist previously would be a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable modification occurs when the property owner needs to make some physical change to the property in order to help out the tenant. Installing a grip handle in a bathroom is an example of a reasonable modification. In either case, if the proposed change would be burdensome or change the nature of the property, the landlord or property manager should engage in an interactive process with the tenant to determine if there is an alternative change that could effectively address the tenant’s needs.  

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