I recently applied for an apartment and I passed the background check, income requirements, and rental history, however I did not pass the credit check. I do NOT have any evictions OR repossessions on my credit score. I just have bad credit due to my disability preventing me from driving so ride-sharing adds up and then bills and other things happen (life). my credit score is a 509. I contacted the apartments of which I was denied and told them I would like to make a reasonable accommodation.

the apartments response was:

reasonable accommodations are only reviewed and granted to residents. Since you did not meet our minimum requirements set forth by our criteria you were not approved based on that information and for no other reason

I thought the law provides that a reasonable accommodation can alter rules in order for a person with a disability to participate. I didn't know you have to be a tenant in order for reasonable accommodations to be granted.

Does the apartment complex have the rulings correct on this matter?

I am in California.

thank you for reading

  • I don't have any specific knowledge of your situation but a credit check, background check, and proof of income just to rent an apartment. Seriously who do these people think they are? You are not trying to join the secret service ffs.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 19:33
  • you forgot to add rental history***. they had 4 checks. in all honesty i believe they are doing whats called a forever vacant scam. this is where they collect application fees and never rent out the apartment. and neil i just have unpaid credit cards from when i was younger. nothing i have is being garnished, irs not after me, nothing, just simply not that good credit.
    – Biel
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


What "reasonable accommodation" were you requesting? That they lower the bar of determining your ability to pay your bills on time? I don't think that will qualify.

A business setting a minimum bar for financial viability isn't a burden tied to a handicap. It's one thing to request a ramp, contracts in braille, etc., but it's another thing to request that they accept a highly-probable financial risk. What would you expect of them the next time "life" got in the way and you couldn't pay your rent? Another accommodation?

I think what they were saying is that since you didn't pass the financial background check, and as such were not accepted as a resident, you aren't in a position to make an accommodation request.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pat W.
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 10:32

Their response is misleading w.r.t. the law, which is here. Under 24 CFR 100.202,

It shall be unlawful to discriminate in the sale or rental, or to otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any buyer or renter because of a handicap of ... That buyer or renter

§100.202 says that

It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a handicapped person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit, including public and common use areas.

This is not limited to existing tenants. The HUD website on reasonable accommodations elaborates further on the reasonable accommodation requirement:

Any change in the way things are customarily done that enables a person with disabilities to enjoy housing opportunities or to meet program requirements is a reasonable accommodation. In other words, reasonable accommodations eliminate barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in housing opportunities, including both private housing and in federally-assisted programs or activities. Housing providers may not require persons with disabilities to pay extra fees or deposits or place any other special conditions or requirements as a condition of receiving a reasonable accommodation.

As an example, they offer "Permitting an applicant to submit a housing application via a different means", which is evidence that the interpret the law as applying to potential tenants, not just accepted tenants. The HUD/DOJ summary of the law further provides the example

An applicant with an obvious vision impairment requests that the leasing agent provide assistance to her in filling out the rental application form as a reasonable accommodation because of her disability.

They also note that "A provider is entitled to obtain information that is necessary to evaluate if a requested reasonable accommodation or modification may be necessary because of a disability", and they can "request only information that is necessary to evaluate the disability and/or disability-related need for the accommodation". Then they can deny the accommodation "if there is no disability-related need for the accommodation". If denied, the prospective tenant can file a complaint, and HUD (Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office) will determine whether the discrimination was because of the disability.

  • thank you user. I Did some DD myself and came to the same conclusion. the ruling for reasonable accomodation isn't only towards tenants but to potential tenants as well (applicants) my source is :justice.gov/crt/us-department-housing-and-urban-development read first sentence from number 12.
    – Biel
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 7:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .