Judgment for disabled woman to make adaptations to home

The Cardiff County Court ruled on Wednesday 30th January 2019 that a landlord acted unlawfully by not allowing a disabled homeowner to make necessary adaptations to her home. The case was supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Specialist equality and human rights barrister Schona Jolly QC acted for Mrs Smailes who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which ristricts her mobiliy. Mrs Smailes was refused by her Landlord, Clewer Court Residents Limited, to make adaptations to her home to accomodate her needs. The case was supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The court has ruled that the landlord should have agreed to let the Smailes carry out the alteration works, which were reasonable in light of her disability.

Partner Sarah Conroy from Weightmans said: “We were delighted to secure this result after lengthy and difficult litigation. This judgment provides crucial clarification on the law, and we hope that it encourages a wider shift for disabled leaseholders allowing them to enjoy independent living in their own home.”

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: ‘Your home should be a place of safety and security, not a source of anxiety and restriction. We are pleased the court has clarified that landlords must change lease agreements to allow alterations that are reasonable and necessary. This issue affects many disabled tenants and we hope that today’s ruling will go a long way to ensure that disabled people can enjoy their right to independent living.’

Cloisters will shortly be publishing a blog on the potential impact of this significant judgment.

Read the full judgement here.