Insights and Opinions Dave Eldridge 04/08/2021

Funding adaptations: Who picks up the bill?

Dave Eldridge from Foundations outlines funding for adapting properties and addresses landlords concerns about the potential loss of rental income when works are underway (spoiler – rental income won’t be lost!) 

Have you been spending more time at home over the last 12 months? The answer to this is almost certainly yes. Spending more time at home because of the pandemic has forced many people to think about where they live and how suitable it is for them. 

This is particularly true for disabled people, many of whom who live in a property which isn’t adapted to meet their everyday needs. Simple activities such as going up and down the stairs or taking a bath can be a real struggle for a disabled person. 

So, when one of your tenants is disabled, how can you help to ensure that the property continues to be somewhere where they feel at home?

Depending on the nature of their disability, small adaptations can make a big difference. For example, something as simple as a well-positioned grab rail for managing an awkward step or a raised toilet seat.  

Who pays for the adaptations? 

Your local social services department can help with smaller adaptations, and there is no cost to either your tenant or you as landlord. 

Sometimes, however, your tenant might have more significant problems. For example, they might be struggling to get in and out of the bath. Someone with mobility problems might find it increasingly difficult getting up and down the stairs. This is where a disabled facilities grant can help.  

These grants are provided by local councils to enable people to continue to live independently, safely and well by meeting the cost of essential adaptations. It’s your tenant who applies, not you. 

As a landlord you need to give permission for the work to take place, but you don’t need to contribute to the cost of the work. The vast majority of adaptations funded with a disabled facilities grant are for changes to bathrooms or improvements to access.  

Will I lose rental income? 

Tenants don’t need to move out and there is no loss of rental income whilst the work takes place. Moreover, most local authorities will manage the whole process and will ensure that work is carried out by competent and experienced contractors.  

A disabled facilities grant can benefit both your tenant and you as landlord. Replacing a bath with an attractive level access shower can make a world of difference to a disabled person. It can ensure that where they live is a place they can call home – and can enhance the attractiveness of the property both for you and for any future tenants. A win-win situation.

Want to learn more? 

Dave Eldridge is part of our expert panel in our upcoming webinar on adaptations.  You can sign up here.

Dave Eldridge

Dave Eldridge London and South-East Regional Adviser for Foundations

Dave Eldridge is the London and South-East Regional Adviser for Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies. Foundations oversees a national network of nearly 200 home improvement agencies and handyperson providers across the country. In his role as Regional Adviser, Dave provides advice on policy and practise with regard to the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants to local councils, other organisations and to individuals. Before joining Foundations in 2018 Dave managed a home improvement agency in north-east London, having also developed and managed one of the earliest home improvement agencies in the 1980s in east London, where he lives.

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