Accessible Apartments: Tips for Making Your Rental Mobility-Ready

mobilityprojectEditor’s Note: Our friends at The Mobility Project – an initiative created by Mobility Management magazine – are sharing a series of articles with Wheel:Life to help empower our community of wheelchair users, assistive technology users and their families! We’ll be posting the article highlights with a link to the full story below. 

According to the Rental Protection Agency, an agency responsible for setting standards of practice and ethics for the rental industry, one-third of people living in the United States rent their homes. If you happen to use a wheelchair or need equipment to help you retain your mobility, you might be confused about what you can do as a renter to make your home space more livable.

See the list below for tips on what you can do as a renter to make your home space more livable.
See the list below for tips on what you can do as a renter to make your home space more livable.

Working With the Landlord

Although the law permits renters to make modifications to rental properties, checking with the landlord first is a good idea. While you may have no problem with creating more accessible apartments, the landlord or property owner has the final say.

“Most owners/landlords will typically not have a problem with a licensed contractor doing modifications to make a living environment more accessible,” says Bates. “Some complexes may even offer to make the modifications themselves.”

Stelzer says that some home modifications companies might require written permission from the landlord before beginning work.

Wheelchair accessModifying the Basics

Among the more common home modifications for accessibility are installing grab bars and portable threshold ramps, lowering countertops and light switches, and raising outlets and commodes. More complex and costly modifications include widening doorways and installing walk-in tubs or roll-in showers.

Keep in mind, there’s one room in the house that universally causes problems—the bathroom.

Read the full story here for a list of tips to make your home more accessible.

About the Mobility Project
The Mobility Project (TMP) strives to help empower the community of wheelchair users, assistive technology users and their families by promoting dialogue and sharing ideas that can advance their many abilities and opportunities. TMP works to provide practical, timely information on assistive technology, accessibility, health-related resources, clinical conditions, advocacy and other topics of interest to this community and culture — while serving and appreciating people of all age groups and levels of ability.

About Mobility Management
Mobility Management is the only industry publication written especially for mobility and rehab suppliers and clinicians. Mobility dealers/providers  and rehab professionals turn to Mobility Management every month for real-world solutions regarding new Medicare/Medicaid policies, client assessment, product innovations, pending legislation, auto and home accessibility and end-user views. Learn more at: http://mobilitymgmt.com.

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1 Response

  1. Thank for the clarification on landlord/tenant rights. The problem I often encounter is landlords who essentially say do what you want- as long as you restore it to its original condition when you leave. This can be true even with changes that enhance the property! Grab bars, for example, are a nice feature regardless of limitations. Walk-in tubs as well are a convenience for all. Yet, landlords have insisted on an as-you-found-it policy. This, of course, is not feasible for most. If anyone has any ideas to resolve this situation, that would be great because lobbying for legislation that essentially allows permanent adaptations if they of an enhancing nature seems like the only solution and, really, don’t we have (so many other) bigger fish to fry?

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