A disability rights group has vowed to push for stronger regulations in the Renters Reform Bill so disabled tenants don’t face discrimination from their landlords.
Disability Rights UK says increasing landlords’ powers to evict tenants displaying anti-social behaviour could be misused as a more harmful alternative to Section 21 evictions.
Its briefing for disability groups explains that hoarding can be defined as anti-social behaviour, while neuro-diverse people, those with learning disabilities or experiencing mental distress, might show behaviours which could be seen as anti-social.
While the proposed property portal could be an opportunity for tenants to understand more about their rights and extremely useful if landlords were forced to include information on a property’s accessibility - helping the case for arguing for more accessible properties – it fears that if councils don’t have the ability to ensure landlords use the portal, it won’t help disabled tenants.
It also worries that councils won’t have the capacity or staff to enforce signing up to a new ombudsman.
It adds: “We know that many disabled people have had bad experiences with ombudsmen in other sectors such as social housing, health and social care or local authorities.
"Some ombudsmen schemes don’t even publish their case decisions which reinforces inequalities and hinders disabled people’s access to justice as there is no room to challenge or develop the law.”
Disability Rights UK also highlights the lack of measures in the Bill that improve the accessibility or adaptability of homes and the fact there is no mention of improvements to the Disabled Facilities Grant.
Speaking on ITV news, campaigns and policy officer Mikey Erhardt (main picture), said: “The law is pretty weak in that area and we know that weakness means that discrimination and poor behaviour is really commonplace.”