Help with adaptations to your home

You may be able to get adaptations to your rented home if you're disabled.

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a long term disability which affects your day-to-day living, your landlord must make reasonable adjustments if you ask for them.

This could include things like:

  • a ramp to enter the property
  • special taps or door handles
  • audio visual fire alarms

What is considered reasonable can depend on what is practical and affordable. Councils and housing associations may have to do more than private landlords.

Structural changes such as removing walls, widening doorways or installing a stair lift aren't classed as reasonable adjustments but you can ask your landlord's permission to make these types of changes.    

Permission from your landlord

You must get your landlord's permission if you want to carry out disability-related adaptations or improvements. 

You should write to your landlord and they should reply within 6 weeks.

Your landlord can't refuse permission unreasonably but they can take into account things like:

  • the length of your tenancy
  • how much work is needed
  • if planning permission or freeholder consent is needed

They don't have to pay for the adaptations. Explain that it may be possible to get a grant to cover the cost.

If they refuse consent, they must give reasons for this. 

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

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

Help from social services

You can ask the council's social services department 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?

Find out more about asking for disability adjustments from Citizens Advice

Last updated 02 August 2019 | © Shelter

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