Older tenant walking aids required?

Older tenant walking aids required?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

9:15 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago 21

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I have an older tenant in a small one-bed ground floor flat. His walking is getting worse, and he is now using a small supermarket trolley to get back and forth from the shops to lean on and transport his goods, which is fine, but he now brings it inside.

The front door immediately opens into the lounge area as there is no lobby, so the trolley sits in the lounge (which is not very big) directly on the carpet.

The flat front door is right on the pavement and there is nowhere to leave it outside (it’s on a slight incline and narrow pavement). He now talks of ‘upgrading’ to an actual mobility scooter, but I don’t want that inside. Apart from the carpet being obliterated, the door is not that wide (it’s a grade 2 listed building) and there is the major issue of it coming in soaking wet straight into the lounge. He won’t have the capacity to dry it down every time, and there really isn’t enough room in there anyway.

I want to help, but fear plaster and door damage, a completely trashed carpet and damp room.

I have suggested he leave it outside, but he refuses, saying it will get stolen.

Any ideas anyone?


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Neil Patterson

9:19 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago


May I ask how much the deposit is and would it cover potential door damage?

Could you consider not changing the carpet at your normal regular interval if he plans on being there long enough?

Reluctant Landlord

9:41 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 17/02/2022 - 09:19
Deposit £575 and carpet was fitted brand new days before his tenancy started on 16 July 2021.

Graham Bowcock

9:51 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

It sounds like the house isn't really suitable for the tenant. Maybe time for an open discussion with him on that point.

You've no legal obligation to provide additional facilities and, arguably, after such a short period of time no real moral obligation.

Be wary of doing things that may put off a future tenant. Not everyone wants to live in a house that's been adjusted for someone with mobility needs.


10:45 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Maybe I'm a sucker for a sob story, but my instinct is always to help people in genuine need if I can. I'd check the position with insurance about keeping mobility scooters indoors but I imagine it's acceptable as many people can't get around without them. In that case, I'd just floor the area inside the door with waterproof vinyl, and fit temporary plastic corner protectors to the door facings while the scooter is in use. A lightweight removable or folding ramp could let him come and go, but you'd probably need to check with the council if it would block the pavement or create a hazard to pedestrians if left in place. Ideally he would be better to find more suitable alternative accommodation, but we know how difficult that is increasingly becoming for people.

Martin Roberts

11:58 AM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Your insurers may not like the battery being charged indoors as they can vent hydrogen.


12:07 PM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Morag at 17/02/2022 - 10:45
Morag, It's really quite refreshing to finally hear of a LL who would go out of their way to help someone in need. I too would make the alterations necessary to accommodate this needy person. And when they'd left I'd revert it to the way it was. It may cost some money, but that's what life should be all about. How blessed we LL's are by being in a position to help those in genuine need. We may be old and needy ourselves one day!

Yvonne Francis

13:10 PM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

If he walks with a supermarket trolley could he not walk with a Rollator. Some are very lightweight and have shopping bags. They all fold up one way or another. Its best if you have mobility problems to try and keep walking. I do speak from personal experience,

Reluctant Landlord

13:30 PM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Morag at 17/02/2022 - 10:45
ramp not possible. Front door opens straight onto a very narrow pavement. A pedestrian would trip over it.
What about the issue of a wet scooter parked in a lounge? Damp?

Just looked up the fire risk - nightmare inside a property.

I shall have to tell him it is just not viable and risks him not being able to escape out of the flat in an emergency and that if he has one it must go outside.

Judith Wordsworth

14:20 PM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 17/02/2022 - 13:30
Contact your local council Health and Social Care dept and they will likely come and assess him and to provide, for free, disability aids eg hand grabs at the entrance door; any walking aids or bathing aids.
They do this for owner-occupiers as well as renters.


15:36 PM, 17th February 2022, About 2 years ago

As the owner of a Grade 2 property, you may need to think harder about this than some other owner, should you decide to carry out modifications to accommodate your tenant's declining mobility, especially if they would trigger planning consent.

As with most things, a clear understanding of the facts, will aid your decision. To that end, arrange a meeting with the tenant and his health support worker or social care. That way your tenant can express his desires, with regard his future housing requirement and the health/social professional can advise on how achievable that might be, should he wish to remain in your property.

Should you decide to modify the property for his future needs, say with a step free shower, such modifications may well help you rent the property to someone with similar needs. As these facilities are hard to find, not only would a tenant be prepared to pay a small premium, they are also more likely to be a reliable long term tenant.

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