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Guest blog: Why disabled tenants are the safest bet in today’s Covid-wracked rental market

Former estate agent Phil Gill urges the lettings industry to look afresh at renters in search of disability-friendly properties.

Phill Gill


Although a disabled tenant is not a run-of-the-mill tenancy proposal for the majority of letting agents, our clients often present the most secure option as tenants in both short and long-term accommodation, particularly in this uncertain economic climate.

As the furlough scheme comes to an end and landlords worry about tenants paying their rent (and how they will evict them if they can’t), our clients do not have jobs to lose. All of them have had funds awarded as part of an accident or injury they have suffered, which are held by their legal team solely for the purpose of the rental.

As property search agents working solely with disabled clients, our primary aim is to find them a forever home to purchase and adapt. But in the meantime, they require a more mid-term solution, with clients typically renting for a couple of years before their forever home is identified, bought and adapted.

Because agents usually don’t have experience of letting to disabled tenants, they often don’t understand this market and reference agencies struggle with the lack of income, asking for many months’ rent upfront and/or a solicitor guarantee as security.

But this doesn’t truly meet the needs of all sides and in any event it just isn’t possible in the majority of situations.

Agent and landlord

As an ex-Central London estate agency Director (and also a landlord myself) I know only too well that most landlords, and agents, want assurances that the funds are not going to dry up and the property is going to be looked after.

That is where we come in and in the majority of situations we remain on hand throughout the tenancy to assist the managing agent in ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

We have clients across the country in urgent need of rental accommodation. Do bear us in mind if you have valued anything recently that might be considered disability-friendly where tenants are moving out, which can be adapted by our in-house architectural team in a sympathetic way.

Alternatively you might have a sales property that is owned by someone who would consider a longer term, stable investment.

It may just provide a basis for someone who has been through a catastrophic episode, giving them the chance to start rebuilding their lives.

phil geePhil Gill is managing director of disability property search consultancy, PLG Consultants

September 3, 2020

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