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Disabled leaseholders win court victory over home adaptations

31 January 2019

The Cardiff County Court has ruled that a landlord acted unlawfully by refusing to allow a disabled homeowner to make necessary adaptations to her home.

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Mrs Smailes has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which restricts her mobility, and needed to make adaptations to her home to accommodate her needs, such as moving the kitchen and the bedroom. Mrs Smailes and her husband own the leasehold for their flat, but a term in the lease prohibited alterations. When they asked the landlord, Clewer Court Residents Limited, to allow them to do this given their circumstances, they were refused.

The court ruled that the landlord should have agreed to let the Smailes carry out the alteration works, which were reasonable in light of her disability. The court also found that Mrs Smailes was harassed by the landlord at a meeting held to consider the proposed alterations.