A new fair housing complaint arrived on my desk this week. It alleged that a resident made a reasonable accommodation (really a reasonable modification) request for a ramp three years ago and management did not respond. As faithful readers of this blog know, I always believe there are two sides to every complaint and I always want to hear from management before I make up my mind.
Nevertheless, this complaint provides yet another reminder that management absolutely should respond to each and every reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification request you receive. I recommend management send an interim response informing the resident that we have received your request and are reviewing it. I have written and circulated those letters. Then, once management understands what the resident seeks, send them another letter. And include copies of those letters in the files. I cannot stress how important it is to document the file. Remember, in a fair housing case, management usually has to prove our innocence. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure the resident's file is appropriately documented.
I don't yet know the facts of this new complaint. I will be shocked if a resident's reasonable accommodation or modification request languished for three years. But this is further evidence that management must appropriately document requests and respond to them.