Finding accessible housing is difficult especially with ageing housing stock. Here are some tips to make the process easier:
Renting or Buying a Property with Disabled Access
Are you looking for a disabled-friendly property that will provide comfort and independence? When buying or renting a property, you may want a modern home with full wheelchair access, adapted bathroom for accessibility, and a dedicated car parking space if need be, as well as a place that you can make your own.
In 2014, a report conducted by leading UK charity Leonard Cheshire Disability concluded that around 300,000 disabled people were stuck on housing waiting lists and were being forced to make do in accommodation that did not meet their needs. Over time, this has improved, but there is still work to be done as ITV News uncovered figures from The Department for Housing showing that 119,621 disabled people or people with a medical condition, were left waiting for an accessible home by their local authority in 2018/ 19.
The evidence suggests that there is a large market of potential tenants in need of a property that meets specific requirements, and so more and more landlords in the private rented sector are looking to provide properties that offer accessibility and independent living for disabled people. This can be beneficial to both landlords and disabled tenants, for a decent standard of living will be provided, and in return, properties will more than likely be tenanted for long periods.
However, there are still several things to consider when it comes to letting, renting or buying a property, such as legal requirements to comply with the Equality Act 2010 – to provide the right facilities and disabled access, as well as tenancy agreements, rental costs and location. In this post, we look at specific requirements in more detail and how to go about finding the right property whether you’re a tenant looking to rent or buy a home or a landlord that wants to ensure they provide the right lets to their occupants.
Tip – be transparent from the offset.
Fortunately, there is an increasing number of disabled access properties on the market, and to ensure the process remains as straightforward as possible it is best for both parties to be transparent about what they need and what’s on offer before the start of the application process or tenancy.
How to Find the Right Property
When searching for the right property, it is worth contacting your local estate agents to find the properties with disabled access in your area. It is also worth getting in touch with the local authorities as you might be eligible for social housing with disabled access. For people wanting to buy or rent a property whether you are going to be a landlord or tenant, you not only want to meet the demand for accessible properties but you want to find the best place to invest with all the accessible facilities you require.
For potential investors or tenants in the UK, property company RWinvest offers some great examples of these types of properties, well placed in the city centre and providing interiors and ease of access both in the building and to the surrounding amenities. Those buildings that are accessible for people with disabilities include One Islington Plaza and Hamilton Hub. With great focus on accessibility in their designs, these luxury residential apartment buildings offer rooms specifically designed for tenants with disabilities including, wet rooms and wider doors for wheelchair access, as well as lift access to all floors.
What to Look for in a Property
Each property with disabled access may differ from the next, as it should be designed to cater to individuals’ disabilities and additional improvements to be made where necessary.
Some of the main features that offer independent living in a rental property might include:
- A ramped approach to the main entrance
- Specific door widths to accommodate wheelchair access
- Handles, switches, and all controls to be accessible
- Lift access to all floors
- Changes to tenancy agreements to cater to disabled needs, for example, pet-free homes may need to allow guide dogs
- All rooms must have specific requirements such as a wet room or walk-in bath, and accessible kitchens
You can find out more information on what to look for when renting or buying a property with disabled access in this previous post on ways to make your home more accessible.
Do you have any tips for renting or buying a property with disabled access? Then please get in contact.