Adaptations in the Private Sector

If you need adaptations to your own home or to a house you rent from a private landlord, you may be able to get help from your local authority. The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 introduced a "Scheme of Assistance" in each council area, which replaced the old system of home improvement grants. Each local authority has a "Statement of Assistance" which explains how the scheme works in their area. The statement should set out:

• What kind of information and advice is available, and where you can access it

• Situations in which practical help is available, for example, through care and repair services

• Situations in which loans and grants may be awarded.

This statement must be made publicly available, for example, at the council's offices, in local libraries and on its website. It should be available in other languages and formats, such as Braille or audio.

Councils are also being encouraged to set up a "one stop shop", where you can get advice and help about repairs, improvements and adaptations and enquire about financial help.The Housing Scotland Act (2006) gives every private sector tenant the right to adapt their house to suit the needs of a disabled person if the house is or is going to be the disabled person's sole or main house. The exercise of this right requires the consent of the landlord, which must not be withheld except on reasonable grounds. The tenant must write to the landlord asking permission to carry out the work. On receiving an application to carry out such work, the landlord may consent, consent subject to reasonable conditions, or refuse consent, so long as refusal is not unreasonable. The landlord must give the tenant notice of their decision within one month of the application, including reasons for any refusal or conditions attached. Failure to do so will be regarded as refusal.

Reasonable conditions that the landlord may attach to consent include specifying the standard of the work and requiring the tenant to reinstate the house to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy. If a condition specifies the standard of the work, the landlord must take into account the age and condition of the house and the cost of complying with the condition.

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