Chapter 7 – Right to adapt rented houses
77.Section 52 gives every private sector tenant the rights to carry out work, either to make the house suitable for the accommodation, welfare or employment of any disabled person who occupies it as his or her only or main home, or relating to the installation of central heating and other energy efficiency measures under the Executive’s central heating programme or similar schemes promoted under the same powers. The exercise of this right requires the consent of the landlord, which must not be withheld except on reasonable grounds. On receiving an application to carry out such work, the landlord may consent, consent subject to reasonable conditions, or refuse consent, so long as refusal is not unreasonable. The landlord must give the tenant notice of his decision within one month of the application, including reasons for any refusal or conditions attached. Failure to do so will be regarded as refusal.
78.Section 53 states the matters that the landlord may have regard to in considering an application. Reasonable conditions that the landlord may attach to consent include specifying the standard of the work and requiring the tenant to reinstate the house to its previous condition at the end of the tenancy. If a condition specifies the standard of the work, the landlord must take into account the age and condition of the house and the cost of complying with the condition. It will be considered reasonable for a landlord to refuse consent if the proposed work would breach any real burden or other legal obligation on the landlord.
79.Section 54 provides that any code of practice issued by the Disability Rights Commission in relation to the exercise of the tenant’s right to make adaptations under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 has to be taken into account by the court when dealing with a case arising from that right.