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Housing adaptations. Landlord kinda refusing.

crocodilliecrocodillie Member Posts: 14 Connected
edited July 2018 in Disabled people
Hi everyone, 

So I checked on citizens advice about adaptations to my home and it says the landlord cannot refuse. 
I have Ehlers danlos syndrome and I'm currently struggling with the taps and door handles and the lack of support to get in and out of the bath. 
I've asked for a new bath with handles and new lever taps and new door handles, instead of knobs. He down right refused. "If someone broke their neck randomly, it wouldn't be my responsibility to change the home for them." I pointed out that I am already disabled and he said "well you'll have to find somewhere else or do them yourself." 
I'm quite annoyed he was this abrupt. He asked me who said I needed these things and I said my occupational therapist. He then starts asking who they are and such?? Made me feel quite uncomfortable. He eventually told me to contact the estate agents to ask them if it's his responsibility or not but I know it is, right? 
We've lived here 8 years and never asked for anything and he's never done any work besides the odd repair. 
So. Are these adaptations his responsibility and do I need to give proof?

(I accidentally posted this in a different area 🙄. Still getting the hang of all this. Sorry. ) 

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh I'm so sorry to hear this @crocodillie- how frustrating!

    I'm tagging in @Jean_Scope in the hope that she'll be able to further advise. I really hope things are put into place for you soon!
  • crocodilliecrocodillie Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Thank you @Pippa_Scope , I think I originally asked it in the OT question bit. I'm useless at this lol. 
  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    Your not useless putting posts  in the correct place can be hit or miss.
    Just remember wev ALL done it and no sensible person would think you useless.
    Wer all here to.help each other and that means over.looking our midtskes .
    ....... and the fact that our fingrrs hit the wrong krys hee hee
  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 368 Pioneering
    You need to do what the landlord said and go to the agents and check your tenancy agreement to see if it contains clauses regarding disability adaptions to your home as it is a grey area regarding your landlords duties
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,002 Disability Gamechanger
    Nothing to do with the estate agent whatsoever. This is a landlord/tenant issue and it’s not really a grey area either. It’s mostly about permission, cost and responsibility. 

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/housing_support/help_with_adaptations_to_your_home

    What you’re asking for is mostly small stuff with the possible exception of the bath so on paper it looks reasonable but there are lots of other things to consider. For example if you’re in a listed building even the simplest things may not be possible. What you need to weigh are the likely consequences should you pursue this. Would the landlord be the sort who would go for possesssion regardless of due process? Do you have the means and motivation to launch a challenge on that if he does? That kind of thing.  

  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 368 Pioneering
    The reason i said estate agent was i was under the impression that they managed the property for the landlord which means that they would of drawn up the tenancy agreement
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,002 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand that @markyboy but these issues aren’t covered by a tenancy agreement. No contractual term could cover all the different things that might happen and no landlord or agent would draw up a tenancy discussing the possibility of amendments to their property as it’s an open invitation for trouble. Most likely any term in the agreement would end up being discriminatory in itself. 

    So, as the Shelter link suggests, it’s really about consent and the practicalities. 
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering
    Hi @crocodillie

    Thanks to @Pippa_Scope for inviting me to join this conversation.

    OK, this can all be a bit confusing but I will attempt to clarify.

    Landlords do have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 not to give disabled tenants a lesser service because of their disability but they only have to make adjustments that are reasonable. There isn't a definitive list of what is reasonable and what isn't, so basically it has to be negotiated on a case by case basis. This link is to a document that explains this in more detail: 
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/discrimination-in-housing/what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination-in-housing/discrimination-in-housing-adaptations-to-your-home/

    The reality is that many landlords will do the absolute minimum and some will find a reason not to continue the tenancy rather than either make reasonable adjustments themselves, or even give their permission for the property to be adapted by the tenant via Disabled Facilities Grant, etc.

    It sounds as if your landlord is uncertain of this duty with regards to the Equality Act and so referred you to the estate agent because he pays them a management fee and so expects them to know about legal stuff and advise him accordingly. You might decide to print copies of the Citizen Advice factsheet for your landlord/estate agent so that everyone has a shared understanding.  

    It is disappointing that your landlord is not being cooperative but not unusual. If it is important for you to remain in this property you may wish to proceed with caution. You need to be clear what exactly the minimum you are willing to accept is. Are permanent adaptations to the property necessary? If you could manage with non-permanent adaptations you wouldn't need to involve your landlord/estate agent at all. For example:
    I totally understand that temporary solutions like those I have suggested above are not necessarily as convenient or as aesthetically pleasing as permanent adaptations but they might avoid a lot of hassle with your landlord and because they are portable you can take them with you should you need to move in the future. This sort of equipment can often be supplied via the OT from what is normally known as the 'small equipment budget' i.e things totaling less than £1000 

    Obviously, your OT will prefer not to have to fund things from her limited budget and would much rather your landlord sorted things from his own pocket so you might need to argue your case.

    You may decide that you can't manage with temporary adaptations/aid and need permanent adaptations to the home. If your landlord refuses to do the work but is willing to give permission for it to be done then the OT might be able to arrange it, funded by Disabled Facilities Grant Scheme - DFG (depending on your circumstances).  DFG can take up to a year to be completed from when they are agreed. The OT can only agree to DFG applications that come within the terms of the scheme, these include the work having to be the most cost effective means possible to met the assessed needs. Hence, it is often suggested that people try bath aids first before mayor changes to the bathroom will be agreed.

    Best Wishes

    Jean  

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

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