Stacey Smailes, 33, has won the right to make adaptions to her home to suit her needs after her landlord had told her she would not be allowed to make the changes.
The landmark win came yesterday in Cardiff County Court as Judge Milwyn Jarman ruled that her landlord was preventing her from making reasonable adjustments, and all landlords must now allow disabled tenants to make “reasonable and necessary” adjustments to their home to suit their needs.
Smailes had asked her landlord if she could move her kitchen into the larger living area of her flat in Clewer Court, Newport, as she finds it difficult to manoeuvre her wheelchair around the small kitchen, and to have her bedroom door moved closer to her bed, which would allow her to use the toilet with more independence.
However, Smailes says her requests were met by her landlord with “hostility,” and he asked her to “prove” her disability, and was forced to provide him with reports which proved that she lives with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, including a note from her occupational therapist which he requested to be able to share with other residents.
Per the BBC, Smailes said after the hearing: “Independence for me means being able to do everything a young mum does.
“As much as possible I want to be able to do as much as possible myself.”
Rebecca Hilsenrath, from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We hope that today’s ruling will go a long way to ensure that disabled people can enjoy their right to independent living”.
A remedy hearing will be held in April.Get your copy of UNITE Magazine