Accommodation providers would include people who sell, rent or lease commercial or residential property or land to others (with exceptions, for example property transactions between family members). This includes estate agents, landlords and individuals who rent or sell property. It also includes government services and charities who provide accommodation or accommodation services.

For accommodation providers, how to respond to a request for a reasonable adjustment will depend on whether that adjustment requires an alteration to a physical feature. Where a reasonable adjustment does not require an alteration to a physical feature, accommodation providers should make the adjustment required and pay for it (provided that it is not a disproportionate burden to provide). This might include adjustments in how they communicate with tenants, how they collect rent, etc.

Where a reasonable adjustment does require an alteration to a physical feature, the accommodation provider may not have to fund the alteration but might be under a duty not to unreasonably refuse to allow an alteration at the tenant’s expense.

Original Policy Proposals (2019)

Accommodation providers cannot unreasonably refuse changes to physical features where the tenant pays for the adjustment and has the funds to return the property to its original condition.

Consultation Feedback (2019-2020)

Request to clarify what is to be considered a “physical feature” and opposition from private landlords.

Final – What the States have Agreed (2020)

Provided clarification over what constitutes a physical feature based on the UK Equality Act 2010. Only limited reasonable adjustment improvements (based on UK position) where private residential landlords cannot unreasonably refuse.  

What is to be treated as an alteration of a physical feature can be modified by the Committee by Regulation.
Having considered the UK position, the definition of a physical feature would include:

  • a feature arising from the design or construction of a building;
  • a feature of an approach to, exit from or access to a building;
  • a fixture or fitting.

Physical features do not include:

  • the replacement or provision of a sign or notice;
  • the replacement of a tap or door handle;
  • the replacement, provision or adaptation of a door bell or door entry system;
  • changes to the colour of a wall, door or any other surface.