Finding accessible (non-council) house — Scope | Disability forum
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Finding accessible (non-council) house

Snowbelle Member Posts: 43 Courageous
I was wondering whether anyone could give me some advice on finding an accessible (non-council) house.
I've been living with my parents, but need to move for my wellbeing.

I think I need to find a house which would be wheelchair accessible or could be adapted to be wheelchair-accessible (e.g. lift installed etc).   (I have been managing in a normal house when living with others, but my mobility fluctuates I can at times struggle to get 5m to bathroom, & more often struggle with the stairs, so would need accessible home if living alone).  I also currently have carers, so a walk-in shower would be ideal.

Are there any tips to help search for accessible properties (e.g. accessible specific search portals, or search portals with accessibility filters)? (I live in Northern Ireland).

If looking at a non-adapted house, what should I take into consideration e.g. floor & wall space for lift to be installed.

Maybe my best bet is to contact a range of local estate agents & tell them what I need & ask them to send me any suitable properties?

(I have ME & mostly housebound & can only manage small amount of cognitive actvitiy, so I need to find the most energy-efficient way for the search & for viewing and moving)

Thank you very much in advance for your tips,



  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    Welcome to Scope. Do you have a social worker or not? If so ask them if they can assist you with your search. This is a guide I found online that may be helpful to read.
    Consider all your options. How independent are you already? What do you need help with? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,383 Disability Gamechanger

    Are you going to need help with paying the rent when you move? If so then finding a privately rented property when claiming benefits is potentially more difficult that you may think. Claiming benefits myself and currently trying to move house, is proving rather difficult. Infact it's the most difficult it's even been, as the privately rented sector for DSS claimants becomes even more difficult. This is because landlords don't like those like those that claim DSS and banks/mortgages often won't allow renting to those that claim benefits.

    Adding on the factor that you need an adapted property will be even harder. All the private landlords i've had in the past have been fine with very small adaptions such as handrails etc but a through lift is a huge ask. I think you'll be extremely lucky to find a private landlord that would agree to this level of adaptions.  Through lifts are extremely rare in housing association properties and most likely almost unheard of in privately rented properties.

    I lived in a housing association house that was adapted before i moved in and was lucky enough to be the chosen tenant. The house had a thru lift that took me up into the bedroom from the living room but i was told that there was only one other house in that area that had this lift installed. They cost thousands to install, which means they are exceptionally rare.

    Are you on the waiting list of your local council? Have you had a needs assessment done by your local council? An Occupational Therapist maybe able to help you with a council/housing association property but it will totally depend on your circumstances and the reasons why you need to move. If you're a single person then a housing association house will be even more difficult because the waiting lists are huge. Most local councils have waiting lists many years long and being single may not go in your favour. I would certainly look at this option first before the privately rented option.

    Good luck.
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,872 Connected
    edited August 2019

    How are you today?

    This is going to be a fairly long post. Your best option is to talk to your local council and ask for a OT assessment too. Bear in mind many councils have extensive waiting lists, it is not a quick process at all. What are the reasons why you want to relocate? I have a friend who lives alone (she has disabilities) but her parents funded her property. The care company she uses handled everything for her.
    Consider what type of equipment you will ultimately need. All UK landlords have rules. And sheltered housing might be a better choice financially etc as well. You can apply for it at 
    Make sure you trust your estate agent. Call or email your local council tomorrow to get the ball rolling. You can find your local council on here

    Your social worker (if you have one) can also give you information and support so you can make a informed decision having weighed all your options carefully. I’m sorry but you will probably never be able to find a landlord privately who will instantly approve the adaptions you require. Do not misunderstand me. It is great you wish to embrace independent living but be practical about it. 

    Ask your local council about sheltered living properties. Usually the property will have a warden and important security and safety features like alarms and lights as well. There are also opportunities to socialize and meet other disabled people. What could be better? Start by finding out more about this option. 

    Read this article on housing options

    How far away will you be from the shops etc? This is also something worth considering first. Find out if you need to pay a service charge and what the rules are. Get all quotes in writing. It can be done but you need to modify your expectations. I had to as well. 

    Because I have a physical disability I live in a adapted flat designed to meet my needs as best as possible. My flat is near the shops and I have a mobility scooter too. For trips to the library and so on, I use it. 

    What is the nature of your impairment? Is it physical or cognitive? Think about what sort of aids and equipment you need. 


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