The landlords guide to adapting a property for disabled tenants
Sometimes it might be necessary to make a few changes if a resident is unable to navigate a multi-storey property.
Some tenant’s with disabilities may require small modifications to the home, but the results could completely transform their living experience. This may include:
- Adding a handrail to stairs and bathrooms
- Building access ramps
- Painting doorframes and steps for higher visibility
- Adjusting light switches that are easily reachable
- Tenancy agreements in Braille or large print
These small fixtures can normally be introduced relatively quickly and easily, and might not require the help of a professional contractor.
If you are considering making the property completely accessible for disabled tenants using wheelchairs, you may need to consider a ground floor bathroom, wider door frames, lower cabinets and units and increased security for the property.
Adapting the property this drastically will require capital investment at the beginning. However, it is important to bear in mind that financial assistance for these changes is available. By doing this, you will be able to tap into the supported living market.
Depending on where your property is located, there are numerous ways that finance can be applied for. All disabled tenants can be assessed for Grant Aid, which means they could be eligible to have any housing modifications paid for by the government.
This is often income-based and could be judged against the finances of the tenant themselves, or the home owner. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that any disabled resident who is 19 or under and is considered dependent, will be automatically awarded a grant fund for home-based adaptations.
Every tenant is different
It is important to remember that every tenant's circumstances differ. Only once there has been a full and frank conversation with the tenant about the changes should any action be taken. With this in mind, constant communication and proper planning are essential if the transition is to be a success.