LIFE HACK YOUR WAY TO A DISABILITY FRIENDLY RENTAL
Renting a home can be a challenging process but a rewarding one. For many renting as a transition from living in the family home is a rite of passage - and that right should extend to people with a disability.
It allows you to grow into yourself and lets you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do. I have been lucky enough to be able to rent for a while, and yes, while it is rewarding and suits my independence it is also challenging at times (as described in this month’s Lifehacks video)
I have faced two starkly different issues in my two different rentals, each with its challenges. A challenge that is universal in renting will be dealing with unexpected leaks or failures of equipment. It can be daunting at first when the worst happens, but these tips will help in any situation you may find yourself in:
1. Research your rights: People with disabilities have certain rights when renting a home. For example, landlords are required to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities. Do your research to make sure you understand your rights and can advocate for yourself if necessary.
2. Get everything in writing: When you find a rental property that meets your needs, make sure you get everything in writing. This includes any accommodations that the landlord has agreed to make. Having everything in writing can help protect you in case of any disputes down the line.
3. Be clear about your needs and ask for help if needed: When you are looking for a rental property, it is important to be clear about your needs. If you have a disability, you may need a home that is wheelchair accessible or has other accommodations. Be upfront about these needs with potential landlords or property managers. if the place is perfect but just a few necessary and reasonable changes need to be made to make it accessible if you are upfront about the reason why there is no harm in asking for those changes. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for these changes, ask a trusted person or a support worker to help you advocate.
4. Renting can be a fun and rewarding experience with all the looking at houses and organising how to make the space suit you and your personality. While this is exciting, don’t let your excitement get ahead of you. Just because something sounds good doesn’t mean that it will work. So do not feel compelled to say yes to the first house, or a proposed rent increase (even if accommodations have been made to suit your disability when it should have been accessible anyway)
Remember, finding the right rental property can take time and effort. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advocate for yourself if necessary. With these tips and tricks in mind, you can make the process of renting a home easier and more rewarding.