I'm a landlord and I have had an application for a disabled tenant to live in my property- do I have to meet any special obligations regarding their disability? Do I have to incur additional cost?
Under the Equalities Act 2010 you cannot discriminate against a current or potential tenant based on a disability. This means if a disabled tenant wants to move into your rented property you cannot turn them down on the grounds that they are disabled or that you don't think your property is suitable for disabled tenants.
Your tenant is able to make requests for minor adjustments to your property which make it easier for them to live there with their disability and any such appropriate alterations would need to be carried out under the landlords 'duty to make reasonable adjustments' to the property. If you allow the tenant permission to make changes to the property themselves then it is acceptable to expect them to put the property back to it's original condition once the tenancy is over; their deposit may also be retained for this purpose.
Although you are able to refuse a tenant on the grounds of them not meeting the referencing affordablility requirements, you cannot refuse a tenant merely because they are on disability benefits, as long as they meet the other requirements of the tenancy.
You may wish to contact your letting agent or seek expert advice if you are unsure of your obligations.
6th July 2016
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