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This handout covers what you can do to stop your landlord from entering your home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the most recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some people with disabilities are at severe risk of being impacted by COVID-19. If you or someone you care for is at severe risk, you may prefer to not have strangers in your home and risk exposure to the virus.
If your landlord is having strangers enter your home and increasing your risk of exposure, this could cause you to have increased anxiety and it could negatively affect your mental health. Learn what steps you can take to stop your landlord and others from entering your home, putting you at risk, and impacting your mental health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: My landlord insists on maintenance staff coming into my home for trivial things that do not impact my life or the safety of the home. I am immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID-19. I am vaccinated but I know that I am still not fully protected against new variants of COVID-19 based on the latest CDC information. This situation is worsening symptoms of my mental health. What can I do?
Answer: You can likely request an accommodation that they do the work at a later time if the maintenance is not essential.
Question: My landlord is forcing me to allow prospective renters or buyers to tour my home because my lease is about to end or because the owner wants to sell the property. I am vaccinated but I know that I am still not fully protected against new variants of COVID-19 based on the latest CDC information. This situation is worsening my mental health concerns. What can I do in this situation?
Answer: You can request an accommodation that your landlord put off the showings for a time period or allow a virtual showing of your home instead of allowing people to come in and tour it.
Question: My landlord has decided to not renew my lease and wants me to move out quickly. I am vaccinated but I know that I am still not fully protected against new variants of COVID-19 based on the latest CDC information. This situation is negatively impacting my mental health. What can I do in this situation?
Answer: You can request an accommodation that your landlord give you extra time to find a new, suitable home, or request that they renew your lease.
Asking for an Accommodation
To ask for an accommodation, follow the steps below.
- Tell your landlord in writing (even email or text would work) what is happening and explain what you need.
- If the landlord does not respond or says “no,” make sure you let them know that you are asking for a reasonable accommodation.
- If the landlord asks for more information or proof, it is a good idea to provide your landlord with a note from someone you know that explains why you need the accommodation. The note should come from someone who is in a position to know about your situation, which could include a doctor or nurse, a therapist, a social worker, or even a close friend.
- If the landlord still refuses, Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) may be able to help. Just email the DRTx Housing team with information about your situation.
Sample Accommodation Letter
Note: You should change the bold portions of this accommodation letter to fit your circumstances.
Languages: this sample accommodation letter is available in English and Spanish. Be aware that DRTx recommends that you provide your letter in a language understandable to the party or entity receiving it, which in most circumstances will be English.
I am writing to ask for a reasonable accommodation as a person with disabilities that impact my ability to sleep and function. I live at 123 Road Dr., City, Texas, Zip.
You have a policy of sending maintenance to make small repairs and updates as your office sees fit. I am requesting an accommodation to that policy. Specifically, I request that all non-emergency maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic be postponed. Although I am vaccinated against COVID-19, data shows that this will not protect me completely from new variants and my risk factors make it extremely dangerous for me to contract COVID-19.
My accommodation request is reasonable and necessary to allow me, a person with a disability, to fully use and enjoy my home, which I am unable to do now.
I would appreciate a response in writing within 5 days. Please let me know if you have any questions about this request for a reasonable accommodation. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to receiving your reply.
Get Help from DRTx
If you need help with any of the issues described above, get started by applying for our services. DRTx is a nonprofit organization and there is no charge for our services. To apply for services and get help, you can do one of the following:
- Visit our How to Apply for Services page to begin the intake process
- Email the DRTx Housing team with your name, phone number, address, and a description of the problem
Additional Housing Resources
For more information about your housing rights during COVID-19, check out our other resources:
- Letter to Landlord to Request Early Lease Termination
- Stop Debt Collector Harassment with Accommodation Request Letter
- Housing Rights: Disability, Race, National Origin and Language
Published: August 2, 2021
Updated July 26, 2022
Publication Code: HS18
Disclaimer: Disability Rights Texas strives to update its materials on an annual basis, and this handout is based upon the law at the time it was written. The law changes frequently and is subject to various interpretations by different courts. Future changes in the law may make some information in this handout inaccurate.
The handout is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.
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