Advice - Legal stance on Tenant's health

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  • Advice - Legal stance on Tenant's health

    I received an e-mail from my tenant saying that she has a few health problems such as bad back and asthma. Been to the doctors and says needs new mattress and needs to get rid of carpets etc...

    Her request is that she wants new mattress and would like to get carpets wet cleaned...

    My question is, her e-mail goes into great length about her health issues etc... by sorting these things out, are we accepting responsibility and liable for her health issues?

    Your advice greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  • #2
    There are discrimation laws ( Disability Discrimination Act 2005) that mean you need to allow reasonable adjustments to your property to help a tenant cope with their problem. I'm not sure how this relates to more of a medical condition, but you could argue that that asthma is disabling.

    If you are providing the mattress and its otherwise OK for a healthy person, I think your tenant should pay for any changes she needs, unless you are a very big LL such as a housing association who can afford to. Will not a matress protector do?

    Of course you may like to change these things as an act of goodwill.

    What you cannot do is to withold permission; you must allow her to provide her own matress and remove your old one. You will need to be reasonable about the carpet cleaning too.

    I suggest you do more research on the DDA on the net, to see what your liability is.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    • #3
      sorry cannot comment on the law, but from a tennents point of view, I would say that you are not responsible to make changes to your property because of your tennents medical conditions. The T accepted the house when she moved in, and if she owned her own property she would have to pay herself to make any changes. just my opinion

      Comment


      • #4
        I would write and give her permission to clean the carpets at her expense and to change the mattress (again at her expense) but that you will expect your mattress to be put back on the bed at the end of the tenancy (if you are generous you could store it for her!) This will tell her in no uncertain terms tht you will not pay but in a very nice accomodating way!
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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        • #5
          I think her asthma is likely to be considered a disability and therefore you will be subject to the DDA.

          S22 is likely to apply meaning that you cannot discriminate in how you allow the disabled person to occupy. You need to ask yourself if a non-disabled tenant asked for these actions how would you reply.

          If T wants to clean the carpet then I would have thought they were entitled to - whilst a tenant they are allowed to do this as long as they do not cause damage, or that they reinstate, or pay for any damage they cause.

          The duty to make adjustments would not apply to you - this is specifically directed at employers - as far as i can see!

          I would point out I have only had a limited involvement with the DDA in relation to landlord and tenant matters so I am certainly not an expert on this!!!!

          would be good to know other peoples views on this
          PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

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          • #6
            I would not pa for this. She can get the carpet cleaned and what ever else she wants. What would she do if she owned the house?

            Is she trying to say you have dusty carpets? Perhaps she needs to clean daily.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post

              The duty to make adjustments would not apply to you - this is specifically directed at employers - as far as i can see!
              Hi

              Not so I'm afraid - all landlords can potentially have duties under the Act, such as the obligation to make "reasonable adjustments" to enable a disabled person to make use of the accomodation being rented.

              This link gives a basic summary. There has already been some very interesting case law around landlords' obligations under this legislation.

              http://www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups...nib003562.hcsp

              Preston

              Comment


              • #8
                The link given by Preston is not particularly transparent as to landlord's liabilities. It seems to suggest that "thou shalt not introduce or enforce tenancy conditions which make it more difficult for a disabled person to continue to enjoy the use of your property." To me that is fair enough, however what is less clear is whether a tenant, having become disabled, is entitled to demand that a landlord pay to have modifications made to the property to enable said tenant to fully enjoy its use. I own and live in my own house. Now I'm disabled. My L.A. have shelled out for some mods to make life easier for me and I have shelled out for others. Why should I now have to do this if one of my tenants becomes disabled? After all, my disability means that I can no longer do any DIY in my rented properties - I have to pay for it all out of rental income now and I am not complaining. Is this yet another case of tenants getting yet more priveleges at their landlord's expense? Yes - I am aware that I don't thave to be a landlord!

                P.P.
                Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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