Private Landlords

Information regarding private rented accommodation is usually found through specific websites, as well as regional or local newspapers. Many websites allow you to register your details and will send you alerts when property that matches your criteria is available. Contacting local letting agents will also widen your search.

Both furnished and unfurnished houses can be found through the private sector. Usually deposits and/or advance rental payments will be required. The amount of rent you need to pay in a private let may be higher than the amount of housing benefit available to you. You may therefore have to meet any shortfall from other sources of income. Private landlords can sometimes be unwilling to accept tenants whose main or only source of income is through the benefits system.

In addition, depending on the length of lease or rental agreement, it may well prove difficult to obtain permission from the landlord, or funding from the local authority, to carry out adaptations to the property. Under the Equality Act 2010 your landlord should not unreasonably refuse to allow you to adapt a private rented property, if this happens you should seek independent advice.

There is grant funding available from local authorities in Scotland towards adapting privately let property to meet your needs as a disabled tenant. This funding is available from every local authority under their Scheme of Assistance, when needs have been assessed by an Occupational Therapist. There is also grant funding available to landlords who wish to re-instate a property by removing adaptations once a disabled tenant has left.

All of these issues should be clarified before signing any agreement or making any payment. If in doubt, seek independent advice from a solicitor or advice agency. You might also like to look into the National Approved Letting Scheme, which is an accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents offering peace of mind to landlords and tenants in knowing that they are dealing with a firm which agrees to meet defined standards of customer service, together with having in place the necessary insurances to protect clients' money plus a customer complaints procedure offering independent redress.

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