There is a legal and ethical responsibility for landlords when renting office space to tenants with disabilities. Landlords should ensure that their properties are accessible and inclusive.
Not only does this benefit the tenants, but the landlords can attract more clients, improve their reputation, and avoid discrimination issues. Here are a few tips for landlords looking to rent office space to accommodate disabilities.
1. Be aware of the law.
The main legislation that protects people with disabilities from discrimination is The Equality Act 2010. According to the act, the landlord must make reasonable adjustments to their premises to ensure that people with disabilities don’t face disadvantages within the workspace.
This may include adding lifts, ramps, handrails, parking spaces and accessible toilets. Landlords should also ensure that they are complying with The Building Regulations Act 2010. This provides the landlord with the minimum standards required when constructing and designing a property and includes guidelines for accessibility and fire safety.
2. Assess the requirements.
To understand their specific requirements, Landlords should ensure that they are communicating with their current and potential tenants with disabilities. An accessibility audit will help landlords to recognise any existing or potential issues that people with disabilities may face within the building.
3. Make changes.
All reasonable adjustments should be made by the landlord once agreed with their tenants. The changes should be conducted safely and to a high standard. It is helpful for landlords to keep a record of any changes should evidence of compliance be required.
4. Foster a company culture.
Foster a culture that values diversity/inclusion and educate staff on how to interact with those in the building with disabilities respectfully and sensitively. You can also create policies and procedures that support the accommodation and integration of your employees with disabilities. These can include flexible work hours, remote work options and feedback mechanisms.
5. Review regularly.
Any changes made to the property should be regularly evaluated and monitored to ensure their effectiveness. Feedback from both tenants and visitors with disabilities is key in identifying further areas for improvement. Landlords should always be up to date with the latest changes and practices involving accessibility and inclusion.
The above tips are paramount to ensuring that landlords are renting office space to accommodate disabilities in both a responsible way. This helps to create an inclusive environment that promotes productivity.