First time landlord, disabled potential tenant

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    First time landlord, disabled potential tenant

    My potential tenant, who seems ideal in many ways, is disabled.

    We have not yet got to the offer stage, so I want to be informed before we get there.

    He has asked if he can install a stair lift and says that he will make good when he leaves - but I'm worried about what I'm going to be left with when he moves out because I'm not able to refuse his requests.

    Is he obliged to remove and make good the stair lift? What if he wants a sit-in bath or needs to widen doorways etc. What if he wants to move the bathroom downstairs? I hope I have read correctly that I don't have to pay for these but I can't reasonably refuse if he is funding it.

    I'm frightened that he is not legally obliged to restore the original fittings etc and make good when he leaves and I will be left with a house that is specifically adapted to a very narrow pool of tenants.

    #2
    Hi, could you give a brief description of your potential tenants disabilities?

    I would be inclined to think this is a good thing, as tenant will be looking for a long-term home and MOST dfg funded alterations will not limit the properties use. Wide doors (for example) are not only useable by disabled people and, in a non-disabled family would cause no problems at all.

    In your instance, the bathroom is unlikely to be moved downstairs - that chairlift will be so that the user can get to the existing (upstairs) facilities.

    FWIW, I am a landlord with a disabled wife and we have had mods done with a dfg (disabled facilities grant) so may be able to give some insight.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Aiko View Post
      He has asked if he can install a stair lift and says that he will make good when he leaves - but I'm worried about what I'm going to be left with when he moves out because I'm not able to refuse his requests.

      Is he obliged to remove and make good the stair lift?
      We recently looked into getting one of these installed for my father; I was pleasantly surprised how 'non-invasive' they are these days, in the sense that they sit on brackets which are fitted to the floor and stair treads, so there would be little if any evidence of them having been there after removal some time in the future.

      The other point is that these are expensive devices, so in the unlikely event of it being left behind after your tenant left, the 2nd-hand resale value would certainly more than cover the cost of getting it removed and having any 'making good' done.

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        #4
        I actually don't know the gentleman's disability and I'm rather reluctant to ask. There's also, of course, the possilibity that his current condition could deteriorate

        I'm am thinking he will be a good tenant since he wishes to adapt the house and loves the area so long-term letting looks possible but as a total novice I don't want to bite off more than I could chew.

        My primary concern is if he asks for further adaptations which would be expensive for me to correct when he leaves if he is not obliged to restore them.

        The bathroom is a worry to me, not just for potential fixtures modifications etc but the upstairs location in the house concerns me because he tells me he has only ever lived in bungalows before so with the best will in the world even he might not appreciate the nuisance of constantly going upstairs with mobility impairment until he's actually confronted with it for a period of time.

        He used to live in the same street years ago and loved it and has friends there which is why he's considering a home with stairs even though it's not something he's ever tried to cope with before.

        The fact that I'm a novice landlord makes me wonder if I'm going in above my head here and don't understand how this may impact me.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
          We recently looked into getting one of these installed for my father; I was pleasantly surprised how 'non-invasive' they are these days, in the sense that they sit on brackets which are fitted to the floor and stair treads, so there would be little if any evidence of them having been there after removal some time in the future.

          The other point is that these are expensive devices, so in the unlikely event of it being left behind after your tenant left, the 2nd-hand resale value would certainly more than cover the cost of getting it removed and having any 'making good' done.
          I've actually just taken one out of that very house, funnily enough, and it cost £300 to remove it. If only I'd known!

          Would the tenant be obliged to pay to remove it or will I be looking at another bill when the tenant leaves?
          And what if he needs other things installed in the future.
          Will I have to foot the bill to remove them too?

          Comment


            #6
            I know it might seem a bit mean, but you could ask him to give you a larger deposit than normal, that way, if you are lumbered with costs of putting the place right, you would have something to draw on. It would have to go into one of the DPS schemes of course.
            I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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              #7
              diasabled adaptions

              as you ay a long letting is an attractive prospect.

              I have had a similar situation and we accepted a comfort letter regarding reinstatement from the local authority (which the tenant's social worker procured). It may not be legally watertight but as has been pointed out, these lifts are too valuable to be abandoned.

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                #8
                I thought the problem was that once you accept a tenant if any further mods are needed you will have to pay for them? I may be wrong and hope I am because I am sure this tenant would stay long term and be perfect for you.
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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                  #9
                  That's exactly my fear!

                  I'm also worried that if he turns out to be a bad tenant I may have trouble getting rid of him because he is deemed vulnerable and the council will tell him to stay put at my expense. I've already refused to take DHS applicants, would I be taking on a similar risks with a tenant classed as vulnerable for a different reason?

                  I can't find anything helpful on the net and the letting agency are just trying to close the deal by saying whatever reassuring words they think I want to hear.
                  Everything I find on the web is so vaguely worded that I cannot determine specifically what extra responsibilities I may have.

                  I'm happy to make small inexpensive reversible modifications to help someone out but I don't want to incurr extra costs or be forced in the future to make/allow changes which are unappealing to mainstream future tenants thus consigning me to either a lot of expense to restore the original features or restricting me to a very limited slice of the tenancy market.

                  Is this sort of tenancy best left to specialist landlords rather than an amateur landlord like me?

                  I know I'm overthinking this, but I don't want to make a decision with my heart rather than a business head.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you're not sure about this particular tenant, then:
                    • Do not be pressurised (or rushed) into making a decision you'll live to regret, by pushy agents. Find other agents, or better, self-manage the property yourself, if possible.
                    • Stick to working, professional tenants, who have been fully credit checked & referenced.
                    The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                      #11
                      Ahem, he may be a professional working tenant with full references and fantastic credit ratings, just has some extra needs!

                      It would be best to have a full frank chat with him, exactly what are his needs now, is it just the stair lift,or will it be grab rails in the bathroom, outside front and back door, what is he likely to need in the future?
                      Equipment and Adaptations will fit these things, and they do like to have them back when they are finished with!

                      I think a disabled tenant is likely to be a long term tenant, and having an adapted house isnt a bad thing as there is an acute shortage of them!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Applicant may be "professional working tenant with full references and fantastic credit ratings, with extra needs"...and may also (potentially) be an excellent long term tenant...

                        But is OP liable for current or future adaptations as part of any tenancy agreement or any Act [e.g. Disability Discrimination Act's] (this is what OP's effectively asking)?

                        "My primary concern is if he asks for further adaptations which would be expensive for me to correct when he leaves if he is not obliged to restore them."

                        OP has raised valid concerns about making changes* to his property, particularly as he is new to letting, and has a pushy agent, and needs to remain in control.

                        * My experience of someone applying to have a stairlift fitted is it took many months for the actual installation to take place.
                        The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

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                          #13
                          Be careful that you do not fall foul of the DDA 1995, leaving yourself open to claim for damages.
                          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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