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Information Sheet for Occupational Therapists, Community Care Officers, Trusted Assessors, Care Providers and Tenants.

Circumstance where an adaptation referral may be declined by SBC

This generally relates to adaptations exceeding £1,000

  • Where the property is under occupied by more than one bedroom, taking into account the need for an additional bedroom to store medical equipment, in accordance with 'bedroom tax' provision.
  • Where the property is unsuitable for adaptations due to overcrowding (in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement), except in exceptional circumstances, for example where there is a demonstrated need for a live-in or temporary Carer.
  • Where the tenant is currently on the Housing Register. The referral will be reassessed if the tenant removes themselves from the list. Tenants will not be able to re-submit a property transfer application for 12 Months after any substantial adaptations have been carried-out.
  • If the tenant has submitted an application under the Right-to-Buy Scheme (RTB). The tenant will be signposted to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). The referral will be reassessed if the RTB is withdrawn.
  • Where the tenant is in arrears by more than three (3) weeks or recovery proceedings have commenced, or they are unable to prove that a steady repayment scheme has been agreed with the Council and until this has been maintained to the satisfaction of the Tenants designated Debt Advisor.
  • Where the tenant has transferred from another property which had adaptations within the last 12 months and is now requesting those adaptations again, unless the previous property was confirmed to be no longer suitable for their needs by a Health Professional or Council Officer.
  • Where the building structure is considered integrally unsuitable for technical and / or practical reasons, for example widening doorways in prefab buildings, wet floor shower areas in Beam & Block floors.
  • Where the adaptation is considered unreasonable or unsuitable for the needs of the tenants, for example, installing a level access shower to a flat above ground level where there is no lift to access the flat.
  • Where the result of the adaptation will have an adverse effect on the re-letting or have a detrimental impact on the housing stock, for example, if a bedroom will be lost due to the installation of a through floor lift or if storage cupboards need to be removed to create more space in a room.
  • Where the needs of the tenant may be met by a more reasonable solution, for example, where the Occupational Therapist has recommended an extension or major works. The needs of the tenant will be assessed and consideration given to applying alternative solutions, for example, utilising a ground floor dining room as a bedroom or wet room instead of an extension, building a smaller extension or rehousing.
  • Where the proposed adaptation might put others at risk, for example fitting a stair lift in communal areas where this could restrict access and safe fire escape routes.
  • Where the tenants condition is likely to deteriorate as indicated by a Medical Professional such that the adaptation may not be suitable for them or they may need further adaptations within the next five (5) years. In this instance. the referral will not be refused out right but the Council, in consultation with the Occupational Therapist, will endeavour to ensure that any solution is 'future proofed' in the medium term. This will ensure that the tenant will not need to go through the referral process again in the medium term.
  • Where the cost of the adaptation is likely to exceed the maximum amount of £50,000. This is in line with the Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) as designated by Hertfordshire County Council (Home Improvement Agency) which is currently £30,000 Grant plus £20,000 Discretionary = £50,000. This shall remain in line with DFG policy and subject to regional adjustments.
    The Council will work with the Occupational Therapist to look at other alternative cost effective solutions within the £50,000 limit. If this is not possible the Council will look for alternative suitable accommodation.

Where a referral has been declined for one of the above reasons, the Council will provide support and assistance to review the tenants options. These may include moving to a more appropriate, suitable accommodation that will meet their long term needs.

It is NOT the intention of the Council to force the tenant to move, most of them will be on 'Secure Tenancy Agreements', the intention is to consider their future housing needs.

In any of the above cases, exceptional cases and / or appeals will be referred to the Council Housing Panel for final adjudication.