6 Rights You Have As a Disabled Tenant In the UK
In the UK, there are specific laws that apply to you if you are disabled. Whether you feel your rights are not being respected or want to know what your landlord's obligations are to you, help is available.
DoNotPay can help you understand . We do it by breaking down the key things you need to understand when dealing with a rental property, which can help both landlords and tenants work together.
Landlord and Tenants' Rights If You're Disabled
It is against the law for any landlord to discriminate against a . This means that the landlord cannot:
- Refuse to rent property to you.
- Refuse to let you keep a guide dog.
- Charge you more for rent.
- Block you from other facilities. (Laundry, car parking spaces, or storage spaces)
- Harass you.
- Evict you because of your disability.
- Stop you from living there because someone in your family is disabled.
- Make you wait for housing or council because of your disability.
- Shorten your tenancy based on your disability, or deprive you of a secure tenancy.
Along with this, a landlord may also be required to help you if you are disabled by changing some things to accommodate you. Some basic rights you have as a tenant are:
- Ramps if you require a wheelchair to access your loft.
- Raised toilet seats or stools to support you in the kitchen.
- Easy Read or Braille tenant agreements (including fire notices).
- Accessible taps and door handle.
- Doorbells or entry phone systems.
- Ensuring your door is visible to you.
- Equipment to help you access facilities on the property.
When you’re asking your landlord to make changes, remember that they are putting an effort to accommodate you. Here are some tips when asking your landlord to accommodate your needs so they would be more willing to help you.
|Be specific about the problem||Your landlord is more likely to be empathetic if you can articulate the problem. Include as many details as possible, such as how it affects your daily life.|
|Put it in writing||It can be helpful to put your request in writing, either via email or snail mail. This way, you have a paper trail of your communications with your landlord.|
|Be polite||Even if you're frustrated, it's important to remain polite when dealing with your landlord. Remember, even if they can’t kick you out because of your disability, they can still make living on their property difficult for you. So try to keep the anger out of your voice and avoid making demands.|
|Give them a reasonable timeframe||Allow time for your landlord to organise things. It might take preparation to install a ramp or braille. Your landlord might need time to make arrangements and first look for finances.|
There are exceptions that give landlords the right to deny changing the property to help someone who is disabled. This is mostly regarding the loft or home that is a shared space with the landlord or a roommate situation.
If the landlord and tenant:
- Live together on the property
- Share facilities with each other
- Or the residence was once the landlord's main home
They are not required to improve the property to meet your needs.
Regardless of everything, you must first know that your disability is covered by disabled tenants' rights.
Is Your Disability Covered by Tenant Rights?
Understanding landlord and tenant laws regarding disabilities are not simple. You must first know that you qualify as having a disability, which is based on the Equality Act of 2010. It defines a disability as having a mental or physical impairment that has substantial and long-term adverse effects that may limit your ability to live life normally.
This may include:
If you have cancer and/or skin growths that must be removed before they progress into cancer, it automatically considers you to have a disability.
If you have substantial blindness, you will meet the requirements of being disabled. However, you must be:
- Certified as blind.
- Have severe sight impairments.
- Have been told your sight is impaired significantly in one or both eyes.
Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system. This may cause various symptoms, including:
- Vision loss
- Impaired coordination
A medical diagnosis means you are disabled by the Equality Act. The severity of your symptoms will further increase how covered you are.
HIV is a long-term illness that makes you qualified as disabled, even if you are symptom-free.
Severe facial scarring, skin diseases, and other issues may make it hard for you to live life normally. Therefore, you may have additional rights in your landlord/tenant relationship.
To qualify for a disability because of mental impairment, you must be able to prove that depression, anxiety, and other illnesses severely limit you. A doctor's diagnosis will help you, but it may not always be required.
However, there are some things that may not ensure you qualify. For instance, if you suffer from addiction or do things like setting fires or stealing, the Equality Act does not cover you.
It is also important to note that if you set a fire or use a wheelchair that damages the flooring, your landlord may hold some of your tenancy deposit to cover the cost. Any damages that you cause to the property, even if you are disabled, can lower the amount your landlord owes you if you decide to end your tenancy.
How to Make a Complaint Against Your Landlord if You’re Disabled
If a landlord has refused to make "reasonable adjustments" to accommodate your disability, you can proceed with a discrimination charge. However, there is a time limit to it.
Step 1: Establish a Timeline
From the first time you ask them to make the adjustment, you will have just six months, less than one day, to take legal action. Therefore, you will need to start a paper trail from the moment you ask for them to make an adjustment.
This often includes giving yourself the ability to show:
- A letter or witness statement showing you requested a reasonable adjustment. It should be dated and, if in writing, make sure you send it through a certified post.
- Other times, you have attempted to speak with or request adjustments to help you.
Collecting this type of information is step one of the process of filing a claim against your landlord.
Step 2: File a Claim Form
You can complain to a local councillor or other entities. If you do this, you should also keep records of your attempt. If this cannot produce results or your landlord does not follow through based on their recommendations, you can file a claim form and send it to the courts.
Step 3: Prepare for Court
Your claim must be filed in six months minus one day. After this, you will need to ensure that you are fully prepared with your claims. This will typically mean:
- You can prove a timeline
- You understand the disability you have
- You can prove your landlord is neglectful or discriminatory
Step 4: Go to Court
The Council may not always side with you, but you should present your case and your claims to them to the best of your ability. Therefore, most people choose to have a legal representative helping to guide them.
If you feel that you have a case but aren't sure that you can cover all the steps without help, DoNotPay is available. We are the world's first robotic lawyer group and understand your rights as a tenant.
DoNotPay Can Help You Protect Your Disabled Tenants’ Rights UK
If you are struggling and cannot decide where to start on your claims, all you have to do is complete our 4 simple steps. To get started, you only need to:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions, so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter, and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it! You should hear from your landlord directly once we send your demands.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay can help with you all sorts of landlord issues, such as:
- Understanding Eviction Laws and Your Rights
- Resolve Disputes with Landlords
- Get Your Security Deposit Returned
- Help You Terminate Your Lease Early
- File Demand Letters or Small Claims Court Filings
Other Services Provided by DoNotPay You May Like Using
Landlord and tenant relationships are often complicated. DoNotPay can help you fully understand disabled tenants' rights in the UK, but that isn't all that we can do. We offer a large variety of services that simplify dealing with all companies or entities.
For instance, we can help you:
- Locate Missing Money You're Entitled to Collect
- Understand or Create Standardized Legal Documents
- Notarize Documents to Help You Do What You Need to Do
- Help You Understand the Freedom of Information Act
Join DoNotPay today to protect your rights as a disabled tenant!