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Geoff
17-03-2006, 17:26 PM
Does anyone know of any special requirements that I would be subjected to if my tenant is deaf? Should I include any particular clauses in the AST agreement to cover things such as insurance, etc?
Many Thanks

davidjohnbutton
17-03-2006, 18:34 PM
Not a legal requirement - but I would advise your deaf tenant once installed to get in touch with social services of the local council and obtain a vibrating smoke alarm - these are not means tested but free aids.

Geoff
18-03-2006, 05:54 AM
Thanks David, this person mentioned that he could get a 'visual' smoke alarm.

Ericthelobster
18-03-2006, 12:21 PM
Thanks David, this person mentioned that he could get a 'visual' smoke alarm.Isn't that normally known as...


...smoke?!!

Geoff
18-03-2006, 12:30 PM
.....nice one!

Worldlife
18-03-2006, 13:22 PM
Wonder what if any affect the Disability Discrimination Act might have.

If the tenant has severely impaired hearing then maybe it would be wise to ensure that all important issues are confirmed in writing.

If the tenant is totally deaf then it may be sensible to seek confirmation as to how the tenant should contact you concerning urgent matters and perhaps some advice and suggestions will be forthcoming from the tenant or his support organisations.

OTH would it be discriminatory to adopt this approach?

A vibrating smoke alarm may bring one within the realms of sex discrimination :D

caroline7758
18-03-2006, 19:33 PM
I've been working with a deaf client this week who is finding it really hard to find accommodation because the only way he can communicate with landlords would be by text. The fact that he is also on benefits at the moment makes it a double whammy. I'm sure the tenant him/herself will have the best idea about the solution to any problem related to his/her deafness, so go on, take them on!

Worldlife
19-03-2006, 05:50 AM
Caroline you state that the "only way he (your deaf client)can communicate with landlords would be by text." and that for this reason he is finding it hard to find accommodation.

"By text" to you mean by the text phones used by those with impaired hearing?

You suggest the deaf person have the best ideas on solutions !

Shamefully I don't even know if the text phone of a deaf person (if not also dumb or seriously speech impaired) will be translated to a voice message for a standard telephone user!

We have had the problem that for a single person the Housing Benefits payments will not meet the costs of accommodation with a living room, bedroom and separate dining/guest bedroom. Would a deaf person be receiving additional benefits to help bridge the gap between market rent and Housing Benefit?

From a family with hearing problems I have found email a great help. Would a disabled person on benefit be able to obtain training for and financial help towards a computer to enable them to communicate by email?

As a landlord I've found that a good property marketed aggressively at a competitive price attracts good tenants who are active in the market and willing to make prompt decision to go ahead if they like the property.

A prompt first meeting is essential and from your involvement I am wondering if your client has contact with a person who can sign language and would accompany him on the visit as a "translator" for discussions. Maybe that person would help with the initial telephone calls to get the appointment to view.

We know the Rent Officers valuation of our property and so subject to financial checks, references and possibly guarantors and ability to pay the necessary deposit we would grant a tenancy to a deaf person on benefit provided we were not expected to incur expenditure for that person's special needs.

caroline7758
19-03-2006, 19:03 PM
He only has a mobile phone. As regards benefits, yes he may get an additional disability premium on his HB but unlikely he'd get a computer, though I've suggested using his local library for e-mail. I have been ringing landlords for him & I think if I could find one who'd take benefits at all he'd be ok, shame you don't live in York, Worldlife! He's hoping to get some work soon, so that should help!

Geoff
20-03-2006, 16:04 PM
To add the story - this prospective tenant has a partner who is also profoundly deaf, they both have jobs and the parents of one is acting as guarantor and insurance is not a problem, so, hopefully, no problems for me. Apparently they can get a vibrating alarm from the Fire Brigade.

Thanks to all for the advice & suggestions