Making changes to a rented home (adaptations)

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

Changes to make the home more suitable for a disabled tenant

When someone has a disability there may be additional duties on the landlord to agree to adaptations that make reasonable adjustments. This could include the installation of a stair lift or hoist or changes to a bathroom or toilet. More about the rights to make reasonable adjustments and the duty on the landlord.

A disabled tenant may also be able to get a housing grant to make the home more suitable. More about housing grants.

Care and Repair services

Private tenants who are over 60 or have a disability can get advice and assistance to help repair, improve or adapt their homes from Care and Repair services in their area. More information about services throughout Scotland can be found on the Care and Repair Scotland website

Tenants with disabilities

If you are public sector tenant with disabilities you may be able to have adaptations made to your home. You will first have to get the need for any adaptations assessed by the local authority department with responsibility for social work. Adaptations could include the installation of a stair lift or hoist or changes to a bathroom or toilet.

If you want to get an adaptation carried out you should consult an experienced adviser for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau - where to get advice.

You may also be able to get a grant to make the home more suitable.

There is more information about adaptations in private housing on the Shelter Scotland website.

Adaptations to common parts 

Common parts are areas you share with other people living in the building, like paths, building entrances or shared facilities. There are alterations or additions you might need to make the common parts easier to use with your disability, like widening paths. You can make changes to common parts with the support of a majority of the owners. 

You need to follow a set legal process for getting permission from the owners who share the common parts. You'll be responsible for organising the work and how it's paid for. 

You can apply for a grant from the council to help with the cost of adaptations to common parts. The council is likely to require you to have an assessment of your needs by an occupational therapist, to decide if the changes are essential, and eligible for a grant.

There's a guide to adapting common parts on the Scottish Government website

For help with getting adjustments to common parts, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.