Help with adaptations to your home

If you are elderly or disabled and it is hard to move around your home, it may be possible to get adaptations that can make things easier.

Permission from your landlord

You must get your landlord's agreement to carry out adaptations. Landlords must not withhold consent unreasonably.

Landlords can take into account things like:

  • the length of your tenancy
  • how much work is needed
  • if permission is also needed from anyone else, such as the freeholder of a mansion block

Explain that it may be possible to get a grant to cover the cost.

Your landlord may agree to do the adaptations or allow you to do them.

Your landlord may be able to evict you if you make alterations to the property without permission.

Decide what adaptations you need

Adaptations you could consider having made to your home include:

  • ramps for wheelchair users
  • a door-entry intercom to let visitors in and out
  • smoke alarms with vibrating pads or flashing lights
  • a stair lift
  • adjustable beds
  • a walk-in shower

The Disabled Living Foundation have more information about the adaptations you could make to your home.

Apply for financial help

Disabled facilities grants usually cover adaptations costing between £1,000 and £30,000. You will have to contribute to the cost of the adaptations if your income is over a certain amount.

Help from the council

Contact your local council to apply for a disabled facilities grant. The council will decide if you need the adaptation and if it’s appropriate given the condition of the property.

You may also get help from your council for equipment and adaptations costing less than £1,000. These are provided free of charge.

Home improvement agencies

Another option may be home improvement agencies. If you’re older, disabled or on a low income, they could provide a handyperson service to carry out work for you.

Visit Foundations to search for a local handyperson service

Equity release for homeowners

If you're an older homeowner, you may be able to release equity in your home to help pay for adaptations. But get financial advice before you do this.

Find out more from Age UK

Help to stay in your home

If you want to stay in your home, the council's social services department will do their best to help you. You can ask them to carry out a care and support assessment.

Social services will look at how you cope with day-to-day living and recommend support, equipment or adaptations that might make life easier for you.

If it's not possible for you to stay in your home, you may need to consider moving to: 

  • a specially adapted property
  • sheltered housing
  • a care home

Consider moving home

Getting adaptations done may only be a worthwhile option if you have a longer-term tenancy. Most council and housing association tenants have longer-term tenancies.

It may not be worth adapting your home if you have a short-term tenancy agreement such as an assured shorthold tenancy. Most private tenants have this tenancy type.

Still need help?

.Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person.

Last updated 13 Jun 2018 | © Shelter

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