Tenants are urged not to complete any alterations to their property without first consulting with the Association.
However if you or someone living with you in your property has a disability, an adaptation may help you to live more comfortably in your home. All adaptations must be assessed and recommended by an Occupational Therapist.
Occupational Therapists are employees of the Health & Social Services Trusts which have a statutory duty to assess the needs of disabled people, including their housing needs. The Occupational Therapist will have a thorough understanding of disabling conditions and how disability impacts on a person’s life. He/She will understand the role that your living environment has in helping or hindering everyday living.
Occupational Therapists believe in the removal of environmental barriers that constrain the way people wish to live their lives and they promote housing that is designed to help with productive and enjoyable living.
The Occupational Therapist will normally visit your home to gain an understanding of how your home either helps or creates barriers to your everyday living. He/she will usually observe the activities with which you have difficulty so as the exact nature of the difficulty can be identified. Following this the therapist may suggest alternative ways of undertaking the activity or recommend the use of products or equipment designed to overcome that specific problem. If use of equipment cannot solve the problem alone, adaptation of the home or moving to alternative housing may then be considered.
The Occupational Therapist will be qualified to make an assessment on the best solution to the problems you are encountering and will make appropriate recommendations on the solutions. If equipment is required the Occupational Therapist will provide it and ensure that you are trained on how to use the equipment. If an adaptation is required the Occupational Therapist will recommend this to the Association and will then inspect the adaptation when it is completed to ensure that it is adequate for your needs.
You can approach the Association for further advice, contact your local Community Occupational Therapy Service directly or speak to your GP.
Remember that REHOUSING may be a more convenient option than having major housing adaptations carried out in your home.
Alterations and Improvements
You have the right to make reasonable improvements to your home but you must first ask and receive the consent of the Association.
Examples of alterations include but are not exclusive to:
- External decorations, erecting sheds, patios or conservatories
- Installing new windows, kitchens or heating systems
- Erecting aerials and satellite receivers
Alterations which are unsafe or would reduce the value of the property will not be approved. NHA will not unreasonably withhold consent for alterations to take place but may require certain conditions met such as:
- Competent and fully insured contractors are used to carry out the work
- The Association may ask for inspections at certain stages of the work
- That all Statutory approvals are received before work commences (Building Control and Planning Permission) When tenant replaces items or carries out alterations they will become responsible for all future maintenance of the items.