In this case from 2021, the Kentucky court dismissed the tenant’s failure-to-accommodate lawsuit without a trial. The tenant’s disability wasn’t obvious, and the board had a legitimate right to request additional information about its impact on her ability to engage in “major life activities” in making an accommodations decision [Commonwealth Comm'n on Human Rights v. Fincastle Heights Mut. Ownership Corp., 633 S.W.3d 808, 2021 Ky. App. LEXIS 104, 2021 WL 4484981].
Takeaway: Although you’re not allowed to ask privacy-invasive questions about a person’s disabilities, HUD guidelines give landlords leeway to gather limited information in response to a reasonable accommodations request to the extent the information is necessary to determine three things:
- The person meets the FHA definition of disability—that is, has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- Exactly what accommodation is being requested; and
- Whether there’s a “nexus” or relationship between the disability and the need for the requested accommodation.