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Do I need to adapt my property for supported living?

5th July 2024

The simple answer to this question is that for most properties, around 85-90% of the ones we see listed on the Gateway, zero adaptations are needed compared to a standard rental property let out on the private rental market.

However, there are some instances where adaptations may be beneficial or even necessary:

New Developments

If you are developing a completely new building from the ground up, or doing a comprehensive renovation/conversion, it may make sense to incorporate accessibility adaptations from the start. This could include things like step-free entrances, wheelchair-accessible doorways/hallways, and potentially stair lifts or elevators for multi-story buildings.

Large Blocks of Flats

Like new developments, if you are working with a larger block, making at least some of the units wheelchair accessible and adapted for disabled tenants expands your potential renter pool.

Specific Care Requirements

The need for adaptations is dictated by the care and support requirements of the tenants you aim to accommodate. You will want to collaborate closely with the care provider to understand if any special adaptations are needed based on the types of disabilities/conditions of the residents. It is never too early to engage with the care provider to discuss their potential future requirements.  This could include things like:

  • Ceiling track hoists for tenants with mobility issues
  • Ligature-resistant fixtures/fittings for mental health concerns 
  • Sensory rooms or specialised treatment rooms

The key is aligning any adaptations with the actual care provided and not over-customising the property beyond what is truly required.

Long-Term Partnerships

If you are developing a long-term supported living scheme with a particular care provider, it may make sense to incorporate certain customisations or adaptations into the property upfront as part of your partnership/lease negotiations.

However, in most standard supported living scenarios, properties can be leased in their current condition without any significant modifications required, just like renting on the private market. The focus is on safe, well-maintained housing - not necessarily specialised disability accommodations.

So, unless you are doing new construction, working with a very niche higher-needs tenant group, or negotiating customisations into a long-term agreement, chances are your existing properties can be used for supported living with little to no adaptations required. The care provider's main priority is accessing quality housing stock for their clients.

The bottom line is to have an open discussion with the care provider about their needs as early as possible, research accessibility best practices for any new developments, but avoid making unnecessary and costly modifications to standard rental properties when getting started with supported living.

If you are interested in getting your property leased to a care provider, your best route is  to load it to the Gateway as soon as soon as you control it, do not wait until the property renovations are almost finished before listing it.

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