Discrimination when buying, renting or living in property

Explains what laws protect you from discrimination when you buy, rent, or live in a property (or place), what you can do if you have been discriminated against, and where you can get support and advice. Applies to England and Wales.

What reasonable adjustments can I ask for as a tenant?

Landlords and managers of properties should make reasonable adjustments for you if you are at a major disadvantage because of your mental health problems and it is reasonable, but you have to ask them for it.

Changes to the physical environment

You can ask your landlord or property manager to:

  • replace signs or notices
  • change taps or door handles
  • replace or adapt door bells or entry systems
  • change colours to walls, doors or other surfaces.

But you can't ask them to:

  • make any changes that would involve removing or changing the physical features of your home. So they can’t be expected to alter the walls, floors or windows or anything like that.

Changes to the tenancy's policy and practices

You can ask for changes to the tenancy's policy and practices, and for them to provide some services or aids if you are at a disadvantage compared with tenants who do not have your disability.

You can ask your landlord for changes to how they:

  • tell you about the policies that affect your tenancy
  • send out important notices about your rent and tenancy conditions
  • give you access to any tenancy support services they have
  • communicate with you – for example, giving you a face-to-face meeting to explain what rights you have in your tenancy instead of just sending you a letter.
Example

Luis has bipolar disorder. Sometimes when he is feeling unwell he doesn't pay attention to his post.

He writes to his landlord and asks them to send any important letters about his tenancy to his friend Jane as well as sending them to her. This is so he can be sure that he knows about changes in rent price, when repairs happen and whether he owes money.

This is likely to be a reasonable adjustment.

When you are a tenant, it is always a good idea to get legal advice about what kind of tenancy you have and what your rights are before you ask for adjustments. (See Useful contacts for information on where you can get legal advice.)

Draft letter asking for a reasonable adjustment

Here is a draft letter (Word or PDF) to ask for a reasonable adjustment for your tenancy.

 


This information was published in December 2017. We will revise it in 2019.


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