Disabled veterans have the same rights as other disabled persons to accommodations in housing. If the veteran requests a reasonable accommodation, the landlord must provide it. Reasonable accommodations are those accommodations that can be made without undue financial stress to the landlord, such as requesting elevator access in a building that has service elevators but no elevators for tenants. Disabled veterans also enjoy the same right to safe and healthy housing as other tenants.
Protection Against Eviction
Landlords cannot evict disabled veterans if the only reason for the eviction is a disabling condition. For example, if a veteran requests elevator access because he cannot walk up stairs due to a disabling condition, the landlord cannot evict the veteran to replace him with a tenant who can use the stairs. Landlords may still evict disabled veterans if they do not pay their rent on time or otherwise break the terms of their leases.
Disabled veterans must specifically request accommodations from their landlords. If the landlord does not provide accommodations after the veteran requests them, the veteran may be able to sue the landlord for discrimination against disabled tenants. However, if the veteran does not request the accommodations, the landlord is not responsible for providing them, as the veteran did not notify him of the need for a particular accommodation.
Right to Repairs
In addition to accommodations for disability, disabled veterans have the same rights to repairs as other tenants if something in the rental unit breaks. The tenant must contact the landlord to request repairs if an appliance ceases to function properly. If the landlord does not make the appropriate repairs, the tenant has the right to withhold rent until the repair is completed. Inform the landlord in writing of why you are withholding rent.
If a disabled veteran believes a landlord has violated his rights, he should contact an attorney. Every veteran has the right to apply for free or low-cost attorneys through legal aid in his home state if he is unable to afford a private attorney. An attorney can tell you whether your landlord violated your rights and advise you as to the best course of action to take in your specific situation.