MPs have today tabled an amendment to the Renters Reform Bill to strengthen the rights of disabled renters. Nadia Whittome, the Labour MP for Nottingham East and member of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, worked with the disabled people’s organisation Disability Rights UK on the amendment, which aims to make it explicit in law that landlords cannot “unreasonably refuse home adaptations for the purposes of a disabled person’s access to or usage of the home”.

More than 1 in 6 disabled people currently live in the private rented sector.[1] 1 in 3 of these disabled renters are living in homes which are unsuitable for them,[2] often with disastrous consequences for their wellbeing, quality of life and independence.

Funding to make adaptations to disabled people’s homes is available through the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), yet only 6% of DFGs go to private renters.[3] Many barriers exist, the most common being that private landlords often refuse to make adaptations. In fact, the government’s 2018 external review of DFG confirmed that over 10 per cent of applications for DFGs were discontinued because the landlord or owner refused permission.[4]

Ms Whittome’s amendment aims to make it harder for landlords to decline requests for adaptations. It has received support from 17 MPs, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, fellow Levelling Up Housing and Communities Committee member Ian Byrne, and former Shadow Minister for Disabled People Debbie Abrahams.[5]

Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, said:

“With home ownership becoming a distant dream for so many, and a chronic lack of social housing, more disabled people are having to rely on the private rented sector for a place to live.

“Every disabled person should have a home that suits their needs and government funding is available to help make adaptations. My amendment aims to strengthen disabled renters’ rights, so that landlords cannot refuse the adaptations they need to live their life to the fullest.”

Mikey Erhardt, Campaigner at Disability Rights UK, said:

“The housing sector is a dangerous mess for Disabled people. As Disabled people in the private rented sector we experience inaccessible homes, huge rates of disrepair, hazardous homes and poor behaviour from landlords. 

“And now, just as other colleagues have done, we are sounding the alarm that the Renter’s Reform Bill is failing. In its current form, it gives more power to landlords in exchange for little to no new protections or changes for renters across the country.

“No one should be left in an unsafe home, no matter their background. Therefore, it is essential that we improve our legal protections and the Disabled Facilities Grant, which is often ignored by key cogs in our system. We’re grateful for Nadia Whittome’s support in helping us table this amendment.”

– ENDS –

Notes for editors

  1. ONS data: Disability and housing – Office for National Statistics (
  2. EHRC report: housing-and-disabled-people-britains-hidden-crisis-main-report_0.pdf (
  3. DFG review: Disabled Facilities Grant and other adaptations: external review – GOV.UK (
  4. Foundations report: DFG Report 2019-2020.pdf (
  5. The amendment and full list of MPs can be viewed here (page 47): renters_day_rep_0424.pdf (