Home is home, whether that’s rented or owned. 

Many people in rented accommodation have been living in their homes for years and want to remain there. This can seem tricky if a wheelchair becomes necessary, but it is fairly simple to adapt a rented home for a wheelchair user.

Or perhaps you’re a landlord, and you’re aware of the drastic shortage of accessible rented homes, and you’re looking to adapt your property to meet the growing demand.

Here’s what you can do.

Temporary Ramps

Many UK properties feature a threshold that isn’t level with the ground. For people with reduced mobility, especially those using wheelchairs and other walking aids, this makes entering and exiting the home difficult because of the step-up they must navigate.

Adapting the entryway to a rented home for a wheelchair user can be as easy as providing a ramp. Not wanting to make a permanent change that’s hard to change back? Temporary access ramps come in different styles and provide a sturdy, short-term solution to getting in and out of the home.

If you prefer the durability and longevity of a permanent wheelchair ramp, a concrete or modular ramp can be installed to adapt a rented home for a wheelchair user. Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t have to be utilitarian. Wheelchair ramps these days can be designed to match the aesthetic of the house, including flower beds and design features.

And wheelchair ramps aren’t just for wheelchair users! Providing easy access is also beneficial for future tenants, from parents with pushchairs to older children and the elderly. 

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Like the step up to the front door, staircases inside a home can be a huge barrier to living at home for wheelchair users.

But a property with 2 or more storeys can still be adapted to improve accessibility. The easiest way of enabling access up the stairs of a rented home for a wheelchair user is to install a stairlift. 

What Is A Stairlift?

Installing a stairlift in a rented home for a wheelchair user dramatically improves accessibility.

Stairlifts are mechanical devices that move users between floors by transporting them up and down a staircase in a chair that travels along a rail. 

Will A Stairlift Damage My Property? 

No! In most cases, the brackets that support the stairlift rail can be fitted to the treads of the stairs so that the bannister and walls remain untouched. Upon removal of the track, the holes created during installation can be easily filled and resurfaced.

Modern stairlifts are also sleek and quiet, using a low voltage so as not to zap electricity. 

How Does A Stairlift Work?

Stairlifts use long-lasting batteries alongside a motor and a gear to transport users up and down the stairs. The user can sit comfortably on the chair of the stairlift, using a discreet seatbelt to ensure complete safety and operate the device using a remote control. 

To get the lift to move and transport its user, the motor turns the gear, which is connected to a geared strip that is built into the track. 


Standard bathrooms are hazardous and impractical for people with reduced mobility, including those who use wheelchairs and other walking aids. From slippery floors to baths and shower trays, standard bathrooms can make personal care tasks extremely difficult.  

The best way to adapt a rented home’s bathroom for a wheelchair user is to install a wetroom.

What Is A Wetroom?

A wetroom is a completely waterproof bathroom in which the shower floor is completely flush with the rest of the room. 

A wetroom can help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls, giving users more control over their wash-time routine. For wheelchair users, it eradicates the need to navigate a shower tray or bath edge, meaning they can easily wheel into the shower area and remain seated during washing.

How Does It Work?

The floor of a wetroom is constructed out of non-slip, waterproof materials and is slightly angled to enable excess water to drain away through an outlet.

The shower of a wetroom is open but typically sits behind a wall or moveable shower screen, making for easy access and enabling assistance if required. 


The average width of an internal doorway is 75mm too narrow for an adult wheelchair to get through, so it’s likely a rented home for a wheelchair user will need wider doorways. A doorway needs to be at least 810mm wide to accommodate a wheelchair.

Door widening isn’t complicated for most doorways and can be completed in a few hours. However, load-bearing walls require specialist structural advice to ensure integrity is maintained throughout the process. 

Home Adaptations For A Quick Hospital Discharge3

How Does It Work?

First, any casing or architrave around the doorframe and skirting board is removed. The exposed wall is then ready to be carefully cut into and made wider.

When the space is at the right width, a new door frame is fitted, and the surrounding walls are put right cosmetically, including new skirting boards, the filling of any holes and a new coat of paint to tie the doorway back into the interior design.

The Kitchen

Don’t forget about the kitchen when you’re considering adapting a rented home for a wheelchair user. Kitchens need enough space for wheelchair users to effectively move around as they go about their tasks.

You might want to make the following changes to make navigating the kitchen safer and simpler, too.


Wall-mounted cupboards are difficult to reach for wheelchair users. Low kitchen cupboards provide better access to essentials, but if space is an issue, pull-down shelves can be added to high cupboards.


Replacing a standard sink with a shallower sink not only looks fantastic, but it means everyone using it can reach down to the bottom of it when doing the dishes.


The height of work surfaces can be a problem when you use a wheelchair. 

To remedy this problem, consider making even just one section lower so that the wheelchair user can more easily perform kitchen tasks without stretching or straining uncomfortably. 

Rise and fall worktops are adjustable counters that can be changed at the will of the user. Whilst these are an incredible addition to an accessible household, they do cost more than replacing existing worktops with lower, permanent versions. 

Funding Adaptions In A Rented Home

For tenants already living in your property, the funding for necessary adaptations comes from grants. To establish what is reasonably needed, an Occupational Therapist will assess the property and report back to the funding provider. 

If you’re looking to create an accessible home for future tenants, the costs will instead fall to you. But, with the low volume of accessible homes in the UK, your adaptations will mean you easily attract a steady flow of tenants throughout your landlord hood. 

Want to read more about funding for home adaptations? Read this.

Adapting Rented Properties Is Simple

Are you thinking of adapting a rented home? For a wheelchair user, home modifications are often crucial in gaining access to all parts of a property, with or without a staircase. 

Are you a landlord considering home adaptations? Perhaps you’re a wheelchair user who needs to request some changes. Whatever your situation, see our website to get in touch.