Foundations Webinar, Tuesday 25 January 2022
National Residential Landlords Association Webinar
A strong case was made for the opportunities that adapting properties can bring for private tenants and landlords during a highly engaging and informative webinar hosted by the National Residential Landlords Association. The webinar was part of a wider adaption campaign by NRLA to increase awareness and inform its members of the benefits that property adaptations can have for private landlords and their tenants.
The campaign is timely as, all too often, landlords may not be aware of the numerous benefits home adaptations can have for their tenants. Housing adaptations can be seen as a way to help sustain long-term tenancies by ensuring a property continues to meet the needs of a disabled tenant.
Adapting Properties as Opportunity
It is likely that there will be a sustained increase in demand for adapted private rental properties as a consequence of the UK’s ageing population and a shortage of suitable adapted properties, particularly as the private rented sector now accounts for about 19% of housing stock.
Despite this large share of housing stock, the private rented sector represents only 8% of the applications for DFG grants. As Dave Eldridge of Foundations explained, such adaptations can often be funded by local councils via the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). Councils can provide grants of up to £30,000 on a means tested basis for adaptations which have been assessed as necessary and appropriate to meet the needs of a disabled person.
Inclusive design and non-clinical fixtures means that adaptations, such as wet rooms, can be attractive to a wide range of tenants and may make properties easier to let. This allows for adapted private rental properties to attract a diverse customer base which is adaptable to the changing demographic trends of the future whilst at the same time meeting the needs of disabled tenants.
During the NRLA webinar Marion Money, a landlord with a highly diverse and in-depth experience of the sector which spans nearly four decades, detailed the individual benefits she has felt from adapting properties via the DFG. Additionally, Mrs Money also made the important point that home adaptations, as well as providing individual benefits to a landlord, provided her with a sense of job satisfaction by knowing the safety, independence, and quality of life of her tenants was improved:
“It’s not such a prohibitive task … and the reward is a tenant who enjoys living in their own home.”
As Marion Money pointed out, adapted properties can make good sense for private landlords by supporting long-term stable tenancies with local councils keen to increase the amount of accommodation suitable for disabled tenants.
Whilst new opportunities may seem unnecessary during the current housing market boom, the 2007 housing market crash continues to cast a long shadow and acts as a stark reminder of the uncertainty that can often come with being a landlord.
As summer begins to dial down perhaps private landlords should consider adapting the property whilst the sun is shining.
For more information and to watch the original webinar click the link below: