Closed consultation

Improving disabled people’s access to let residential premises: reasonable adjustments to common parts, a new duty

Applies to England and Wales

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Summary

We want your views on proposals to require landlords to make reasonable adjustments to common parts of let properties (such as entrances and hallways) when asked to by a disabled person.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

This consultation regards the commencement and implementation of the remaining parts of section 36 of the Equality Act 2010.

This legislation will place a duty on landlords to make reasonable adjustments to the common parts of let residential premises when requested by a disabled person.

‘Common parts’ include outside areas, entrances, hallways, landings and stairwells.

Disabled people can already make such requests but there is currently no legal duty on the landlord to make reasonable adjustments to common parts.

Before commencement, regulations will be needed to set out how the new arrangements will work. We also propose that guidance will be drafted to help landlords and disabled people to understand their rights and obligations.

The aim of this consultation is to seek your views on how implementation should be regulated, and what the accompanying guidance should cover to help both landlords and disabled tenants.

Background

The Equality Act 2010 already imposes a duty on landlords and commonhold associations to allow and make reasonable adjustments, on request from disabled tenants, to their private dwellings.

When commenced, section 36(1)(d) will extend this duty to common parts of residential property. This will effectively give disabled tenants, leaseholders and anyone else entitled to live in the premises the legal right to require landlords to make reasonable adjustments to the common parts of their flats. These might include, for example, a wheelchair ramp at an entrance, improved lighting or rails in hallways and stairwells.

This new right would apply in all non-freehold housing sectors – leasehold-owned, the private rented sector and housing provided by local authorities and housing associations, where the premises has common parts, subject to certain exceptions.

The legislation makes clear that the landlord can insist, before an agreement, that the tenant (or their guardian) funds:

  • any adjustment agreed as reasonable by the landlord
  • reasonable maintenance costs
  • the cost of any removal and restoration of the building upon vacating the property

However, this does not preclude other possibilities – for example, the landlord paying or cost sharing between landlord, tenant and perhaps other tenants. Funding may be available to some disabled people, who will be responsible for asking their local authority about this.

Who we want to hear from

To help inform the regulations and guidance, we would value the views of anyone who has an interest in our proposals to fully commence section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 and its associated schedule paragraphs.

We are particularly interested in hearing from:

  • disabled people who live in, or plan to live in rented, leasehold or commonhold accommodation
  • landlords from all housing sectors
  • managing and letting agents
  • local authorities
  • organisations representing any of the above groups
  • experts in any of the topics covered, who feel that they can usefully contribute

Although the policy only affects England and Wales, we are interested to hear from people across the UK who may have valuable experiences to share.

How to respond

Please read the consultation document before answering the questions.

There are 18 questions. However, you do not have to answer them all.

You can use an optional template (Annex A) for your responses.

You can respond by email or post.

Responding by email

Please send your responses to s36consultationresponse@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Responding by post

Please send your responses to:

Common Parts Consultation
Government Equalities Office
3rd Floor, Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
Manchester M1 2WD

Please write “Section 36” on the back of the envelope.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this consultation, please email s36consultationresponse@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Documents

Improving disabled people’s access to let residential premises: consultation document (PDF)

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Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Improving disabled people’s access to let residential premises: consultation document (large print PDF)

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Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

New rules to make rented homes easier for disabled people to enter and leave (Easy Read version)

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If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Improving disabled people’s access to let residential premises: consultation document (Welsh)

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If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Improving disabled people’s access to let residential premises: consultation document (Welsh PDF)

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Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Annex A: Consultation questions (OpenDocument)

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Annex A: Consultation questions (Word)

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Annex A: Consultation questions (PDF)

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If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Annex A: Consultation questions (large print PDF)

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Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Annex A: Consultation questions (Welsh)

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Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Annex A: Consultation questions (Welsh PDF)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email equality.hub.correspondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.
Published 9 June 2022