Outfitting Your Toronto Rental Property for Disability Accessibility


Outfitting Your Rental Property for Disability Accessibility

Ensuring that your property is accessible for the disabled adds an extra layer of appeal for marketing. An accessible apartment isn’t only attractive for those with a disability that prevents mobility, but for a growing population of seniors in Toronto as well. In addition, under the law, you must provide accessible housing to tenants who are disabled, except in the case where refitting the property would cause undue hardship. But there are costs associated with such a renovation.

Renting to people with disabilities – what your responsibilities are

Under the Code, it is against the law to refuse to rent to a tenant because of a visible or invisible disability. You also must have reasonable accommodation for their disabilities in the housing unit. However, in a practical application, this can pose some issues for you – a non-accessible apartment can cost thousands of dollars to remodel to make it accessible. If you are a small landlord with one or two properties, you can argue under the law that this will pose an undue hardship. The American Disability Association estimates that renovating a bathroom to make it fully accessible can cost up to $9,000. But you don’t have to go that far to make a property accessible.

Start with minor alterations to make it senior-friendly

Performing minor renovations with seniors in mind can start you down the path to having an accessible property. Installing handlebars beside the toilet and in the tub and fall-proofing your home with various measures, including securing carpet on stairs, are things that will count towards accessibility if you need to take further measures in the future. When it is complete, you will have an additional marketing feature for your property. Here is a list of things to do to ensure your property keeps tenants safe from falls. Most are inexpensive and won’t take much time.

If your property isn’t accessible now, renovate to accommodate

Realistically, if your property isn’t accessible now, it doesn’t make financial sense to remodel it in the event that you have a disabled tenant. The best way to handle it is if the situation arises, renovate the property to accommodate their specific needs. For example, you may not need to make it wheelchair-accessible, but you may have to ensure items in the bathroom such as handrails and showers are modified to meet an individual’s needs.

If you are thinking about renovating your property to make it senior-friendly and accessible for the disabled, Highgate has a full-scale renovation crew ready to do it. Contact us today to find out more.

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