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Government says landlords should modify homes for disabled tenants

The government is today launching a consultation on a policy obliging landlords to make changes to communal spaces outside disabled tenants’ homes.

The new policy - which comes from the government’s so-called ‘Equality Hub’ - aims to to make homes “safer and more accessible” according to the consultation.

The changes would be to communal areas of rented and leasehold homes and could include the installation of stairlifts, handrails and ramps. 


Changes a disabled tenant could ask for include an allocated parking space near the entrance to their building, guide rails, and better lighting.

The government says the policy - which would expand the current Equality Act - would make it easier for disabled people to work, shop, and socialise, as well as making buildings safer for them in emergencies. 

The consultation claims this shows that the “government provides the leadership needed in difficult times, and makes sure everyone is able to reach their full potential.”

The Equality Act already requires landlords to make or permit reasonable adjustments inside disabled people’s homes. 

Disabled people and landlords can apply to their local authority for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), which would contribute towards the cost of adapting an eligible person’s home, including to the common parts of a building. Local housing authorities also have a statutory duty to provide home adaptations for those who qualify for a DFG.


Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch says:  “Being able to safely and easily leave one’s home - to go to work, grab milk from the shops, or to meet a friend for a coffee - is something many of us take for granted. But for disabled people this can be a difficult, demotivating, and sometimes impossible challenge.

“This policy would ensure every disabled tenant has the right to ask for changes to where they live, so they can access and leave their homes without fear or difficulty.

“We want to hear the views of everyone impacted by our plans, to make sure we can make lasting change to people’s lives.”

The consultation will run for 10 weeks.

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  • Carlo Rappa

    Happy to do that of they pay 100% of the cost for changing and reverting back if necessary.

    Good at talking

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    Those Policies exist unnecessarily in some cases for new builds already as I know to my cost. When I built a house on a difficult site ten years ago. they required the level threshold for main entrance and porch doors, extended longer wider hallway, longer larger ground floor Toilet facilities to operate a wheelchair, ramp to house but no person with a disability ever lived there. It compromised the living room unnecessarily I curse them for that why impose those blanket rules without taking the particular situation into account, same goes for many existing houses may not be suitable for adaption but that won’t stop them they wouldn’t know the difference too long at University.

  • Anne Wilson

    I honestly believe that the disabled tenant sector provides a wonderful opportunity for private residential tenants to secure long-term, low risk tenants.
    While not every property will be suitable for every disability - even with adaptations - as service providers, landlords & their letting agents need to be inclusive ….equality should not be optional!


    I would adapt a property for a disabled person, there would be 2 conditions though, firstly they would have to be working disabled and secondly there would be an extra on top of the market rent to reflect my additional investment , private landlords are not charities, Shelter is, and so for that matter are housing associations .

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    How on earth can landlords be expected to come up with an allocated parking space outside most properties? Millions of houses were built before cars were invented so certainly don't have any private parking at all. Planning policy for the last 15 to 20 years has been to build new estates with woefully inadequate parking to discourage car ownership.


    The article only says that they can ask for it, which is only relevant if it's a practical pssibility.

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    Anne. I couldn’t agree more equality shouldn’t be optional, when will landlords be treated equally.

  • George Dawes

    That’s their long term plan Simon

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    • G W
    • 09 June 2022 09:00 AM

    Time to sell…… we all know that disabled people need help but how many unsuitable tenants who work the system will pull this card for anxiety or other…… they are the ones who make it harder for genuine disabled people

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    Another stupid interference by the Government, how easy it must be for these Civil Servants to sit at Home and think up these idea’s.


    They are good at thinking up ideas, just not the consequences of those bright ideas

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    • J T
    • 09 June 2022 09:43 AM

    How would they envisage it working in a sub-let leasehold scenario? If the immediate landlord of the flat has the responsibility, they have no rights to alter the communal areas. Permission would have to come from the block management company which would be a nightmare in itself, and they would have to manage the works with their own approved contractors.
    If it becomes the superior landlord/freeholder's responsibility, then the leases are almost always worded in such a way that any costs can be passed on to the leaseholders via the service charge, so ultimately the residents will be paying for this.


    Very good point.


    All true, even if adapting our second floor flat in a block with no lift was a realistic possibility.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Govt keep missing the point, Its Housing Associations and Council housing that are obligated to provide Social care, the PRIVATE rented sector is - well, Private.

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    Possession friend, l am afraid we have a bankrupt, communist government. So they think we are, like Lenin thought, greedy little capitalists who need to be screwed ! And if not sent to the gulags ! ( i.e. criminalised) !

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    Let’s face it not all rental properties could be adapted.Listed buildings for example. Our 18 th century rental cottage has the staircase in a cupboard and there are steps up and down throughout with no means of possibility of installing ramps.Plenty of parking but only accessed out the back up a flight of 10 steps! A disabled person isn’t going to choose to live in it so why put pressure on to adapt it?


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