The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – which was amended in 2005 – has caused concern amongst the owners of let properties for some time, who were unsure as to the limits of their responsibilities to make properties they let out ‘disability-friendly’.
A recent case in the Court of Appeal dealt with a situation in which a disabled tenant requested consent for a stairlift to be installed in the building where she lives. The tenant lives on the third floor of the building and the only access to her flat is a communal staircase. The landlord refused the request and the tenant claimed that the refusal constituted discrimination on the grounds of disability and was therefore a breach of the Act.
The landlord argued that there was no discrimination: the refusal was not based on disability: the landlord would have refused such a request form any tenant.
The Court agreed that while landlords are obliged to make their premises DDA compliant, this does not extend to making physical adjustments for tenants.