Renting a home is a stress-inducing process. Browsing listings, viewing homes and paying for and submitting applications is especially difficult for the disabled. If you face having to rent a new home during your period of disability, you’ll need to go to some extra lengths before you begin your home search and be vigilant during your search in order to overcome the special challenges your situation presents. Don't despair, however. Some landlords consider disabled tenants with fixed incomes to be less risky than nondisabled tenants who might be subject to job loss or a decrease in pay.
Give your current landlord the required amount of notice, as per your lease, that you’ll not renew your current lease.
Interview local real state agents to find one who can help you find an accessible home and assist you in the application process.
List the accommodations you’ll need. The list will help your real estate agent find homes that are suitable for you.
Determine your budget.
Gather documentation of your household income, including your most recent Social Security disability benefit statement or the statement from your private disability insurer; statements of other benefits you receive, like energy assistance or food stamps; and proof of other household income, such as pay stubs; a W-2; or “Schedule C, Profit or Loss from a Business” tax form from the most recent tax year.
Obtain bank statements or canceled checks showing your rental payment history for the past year.
Request a letter of referral from your current landlord.
Print copies of your bank and investment statements to include with your rental application as evidence of your ability to pay the rent on your fixed income.
Put aside enough money to cover your application fees, the costs of accommodations you’ll need to make to your home, and your move-in money: first and last months’ rent plus a security deposit equal to one month’s rent.
View homes with your real estate agent. Submit a rental application for the one you would like to rent.
Tour the home before you sign the lease in order to make sure the condition hasn’t changed and to note the condition of surfaces that might be affected by any accommodations you install, like shower bars.