Important information for landlords renting to disabled tenants

When renting a property to a disabled tenant there may be some adjustments that your tenant requests. Reasonable adjustments may include certain changes to the property or providing extra services and are part of the duty outlined in the Equality Act 2010. They only need to be carried out if the tenant requests them.

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Considering reasonable adjustments

If your tenant is disadvantaged due to a disability they may request certain adjustments to the property or the tenancy agreement itself. For example, if you have a ‘no pets’ rule in the contract, a tenant with a guide dog can request that the rule is over-ridden. As stated in Tenants Tips, an assistance dog should be permitted at the property.

The adjustments only have to be made by you if they are considered reasonable, such as length of the letting, cost, ability to pay and how effective the changes will be. Private landlords may not have to make the requested adjustments in some cases, as outlined in the Equality Act.

The adjustments a tenant may request are those that improve their quality of life if they find it difficult to enjoy the property they occupy, or the facilities attached to the property such as common gardens or a parking space.

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These adaptations can include such items as:

replace taps or door handles
– remove or replace furniture, furnishings or equipment
– replace or provide signs
– replace or provide doorbells or entry systems
– change the colour of walls or doors

Other considerations

As a landlord you are prohibited from requesting a higher deposit sum from disabled tenants, which may be considered if you expect damage to the property from wheelchairs. However, if damage has been incurred then you do have the right to cover the cost of the damage from the deposit.

Property inventory software is a useful tool for landlords to ensure that items are listed and agreed upon by both parties. Online systems can often be the most efficient way of keeping an inventory.

Furthermore, if a disabled person applies to live in your property, you are prohibited to refuse based on their disability.

A landlord should be open to discussion to reasonable adjustments in their rental property as well as amending rental agreements to provide for disabled tenants.