New EU proposals could force landlords to alter rental properties for disabled tenants they may never have.

The UK's current regulations require certain changes to be made to a property to cater for the needs of a disabled tenant.

However, regulations by the European Commission could mean changes would have to be made in all rental properties, irrespective of whether the present tenants require them.

Necessary changes could include external ramps, and adapted bathroom and kitchen facilities among other points.

There is worry from some sectors who believe that the legislation would mean an unnecessary expense for landlords.  There is also concern that it could turn investors away from buy-to-lets, exacerbating the housing shortage in much of the UK.

Richard Jones of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) states: "This is particularly wasteful and excessive when landlords cannot possibly know in advance what work may be needed to cater for a tenant who, in most cases, will probably never appear anyway."

This opinion is shared by Stephen Parry of property law experts, Landlord Assist: "We are being told of a housing shortage and therefore government initiatives should encourage the development of the private rented sector."

However, as a directive it would be meant only as a guideline. Each government would have significant flexibility in to the extent to which it is enforced.  The government has so far not commented on how it would respond to the legislation if passed.

Compiled by LUDLOW THOMPSON ESTATE AGENT
 


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