The University of Birmingham is committed to assisting students with disabilities and additional support needs to live, study and enjoy student life as independently as possible.
If you find a property that you like you must ensure that it has everything you need before you sign the contract. Every student has a different need so if you need assistance in searching for private sector accommodation please do not hesitate to contact us at Living.
The Disability Act 1995: Part 3 covers access to provision of services, goods and the letting of premises. Whilst this covers issues such as rental agreements, it does not readily provide for making properties fully accessible. For example, unless there are more than 6 rooms within 1 house, there is no legal obligation to provide for access for a wheelchair user. However disabled students can reasonably expect, where a property is suitable, to be offered rental agreements:
- To the same standards as other occupants
- On the same terms as other occupants
- With the same level of access to communal facilities
For students who require minor adaptations such as visual fire and doorbell signalling or braille cooker signs etc. it is your responsibility to organise these. Students should contact, in the first instance, the relevant Social Services Office for advice. Before proceeding with any work the owner of the property should be consulted and his/her permission should be obtained. Permission may not however be withheld without good reason.
The Equality Act 2010 means that private landlords are prohibited from giving you unjustified less favourable treatment if you have a disability and are looking to rent accommodation. For example, landlords must not charge someone with a disability a higher rent or deposit than other tenants.
If you feel you are being discriminated against, or are having difficulties finding accessible accommodation, please contact the University for advice either at LIVING (details below) or using the contacts at the back of this booklet.
The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) can provide more details about disability rights in relation to private rental accommodation.
The contact details for EASS are:
Telephone 0808 800 0082
Textphone 0808 800 0084