If you have a disability and you rent a home, you may need to make adaptations to make things easier for you to manage. Some may need a change to the doors, a ramp or a walk in easy access shower.
Under the Equality Act 2010 you may be able to ask your landlord to carry out this type of work as part of their duty to make reasonable adjustments. At very least you should be able to get the work done yourself with the landlords consent.
The duty to make reasonable adjustments
Landlords and managers of properties have a duty under The Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to certain things when you’re renting a property. If your disability causes you to be at a disadvantage then they must ensure they assist you overcoming this.
Landlords and managers do not have to make changes to the structure of the property that would permanently and or substantially alter the property. However there are things they must do to ensure they comply with the duty to make reasonable adjustments such as –
- Replace taps and door handles to make it easier for you to use doors.
- Replace or provide and adaptation to the door bell or door entry system
- Change the colour of walls or surfaces
- Replace or provide signs or notices
- Take away, replace or provide furniture, materials or equipment as long as it would not become a permanent fixture.
Getting consent is important
Write to your landlord first and send it via registered post so they have to sign for the letter. You should provide comprehensive details of the work you want to carry out and how it will be done. Always provide assurance that you intend to reinstate the accommodation when you leave.
Remember if you ask permission your landlord mustn’t refuse consent without reasonable reason and must provide this reason in writing.
Refusal of consent
If your landlord doesn’t reply in good time, or refuses without providing you with a reasonable reason in writing. It’s important to understand their consent has effectively been given under law. However even though in law they have granted consent due to their lack of appropriate response you must seek advice before you make any adaptations. Contact Citizens Advice for further advice as a county court may need to make a declaration formally that the landlord has acted unreasonably.
For further information on Discrimination in Housing visit the Citizens Advice Website.
Other useful resources are