Renting a home if you’re a disabled person

This page explains the different renting options open to disabled people and how to go about looking for rented accommodation. 

Renting options for disabled people

If you are disabled and you are thinking about renting a place? There are lots of things to take into account. How much rent can you afford to pay? Are you prepared to share with other people? What kind of area do you want to live in? How do you go about finding a property that's suitable for your needs? Will you be able to access the services you require? Housing Options Scotland offer housing advice and support for people with disabilities to help you find housing.

Renting from the council

Renting from the council or is usually cheaper than a private let, and you won't have to pay a deposit. However, you may have to wait a long time before a suitable home comes up, so you could end up renting privately while you wait.

If you apply for council housing, you'll need to discuss any special needs you have with the housing officer, so they can make sure any property you're allocated is right for you.

As a disabled person, you may be given priority on the waiting list, but as many areas in Scotland have a shortage of council housing, and in particular housing which is suitable for people with physical disabilities, you may still have to wait a long time.

Renting from a housing association

Housing associations are not-for-profit organisations that offer low cost accommodation to people who really need it. Some housing associations specialise in homes for disabled people, and may offer support as well. Again, you'll need to put your name on a waiting list.

Ask the council for a list of housing associations in your area, and if they have a common housing register. This is a single application form for all council housing, and many housing association homes, in your area.

Renting in the private sector

There are many things to think about when you're looking for a place to rent. In particular, you'll need to consider whether the property and area will be suitable for your needs. Download our accessibility checklist.

Can I adapt a rented home?

If you find a place you like that could be adapted to fit your needs, you can ask the landlord for permission to do the necessary work. By law, your landlord can't refuse your request unreasonably - this applies to councils and housing associations and private landlords. If you have a private landlord, you'll need to fund any adaptations yourself, although the council may provide a grant to help you.

Your landlord is also responsible for providing you with any extra aids and equipment you ask for to help you get the most out of the property you're renting.

What are my rights if I rent my home?

As a disabled person, you'll have the same housing rights as any other tenant. Your rights will depend on the kind of tenancy you have - if you're not sure, use our tenancy checker to work out your tenancy type, then go to the section on renting rights to read up on your rights and responsibilities.

Disabled people have additional rights to help deal with landlords and prevent discrimination. For example, your landlord can't evict you for reasons connected to your disability. If you think your landlord is treating you unfairly because you're disabled, you can take action.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 3 June 2015

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England