Life as a renter who uses a wheelchair — Reeve Connect
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Life as a renter who uses a wheelchair

BrookeU Moderator Posts: 175 Moderator
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What tips do you have for someone who is renting and uses a wheelchair? Whether it's convincing a landlord that they must comply with the ADA to the best of their abilities or somehow using Command strips to make life easier, what's your best advice?


  • prc_Beth
    prc_Beth Moderator, Information Specialist Posts: 65 Information Specialist
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    Communications is the key here. Let your landlord know what you need and what is required. And Command Strips – aren’t they the best for putting things where you want them.

     Also, the Paralysis Resource Center has information on ADA Basics, Advocacy, and Independent Living. You can reach out to us if you would like to receive any of this information. The Information Specialist Team can be reached by calling: 1-800-539-7309 or individuals can ask a question here:

    We recently published a “Become a Self-Advocate” brochure which we can mail as well. It can be found here:

  • BrookeU
    BrookeU Moderator Posts: 175 Moderator
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    Thanks so much, @prc_Beth! And yes, Command strips are indeed the best.
  • stephanie426
    stephanie426 Moderator Posts: 81 Moderator
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    Definitely learning your rights under the Fair Housing Act and the ADA, and know the difference! The ACLU has great tips:

    When looking for an apartment,  I always try to look online using search engines that allow me to sort by "wheelchair accessible. " I also use Google street view to confirm if a building has an accessible entrance.  

    I also try to find places without carpet because rolling on carpet sucks, but also, it's hard to get a security deposit back after rolling all over carpet with wet and dirty wheels.  

    For more storage space that's reachable in the bathroom,  I bought a shower caddy that usually hangs over the shower head,  but instead I hung it at a lower height on the bathroom wall to hold my hair products.  

    I also love the cabinet with cubby holes that you can put baskets in for lower, neat looking storage.  
    WAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 379 Moderator
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    Here in Canada, its tough because the new rules are EVERY SINGLE NEW BUILDING that gets built has to have features that are ADA accessible so that the wheelchair user can get into the building.. but it stops there. We also have a law that states that every disabled person has the right to be able to get into their building that they rent, and that no obstacles should be present. However, many buildings are old, and it costs a LOT to put things. in place. For example, Elena and Dan have an obstacle on their front door.. dan has to use TWO doors on the outside of the building to get into his apartment, because the front door is too heavy and the latch/keyhole is too high. They have been advocating for an automatic door to be put in not only for him, but for the other disabled people in the building as this building was BUILT for veterans originally with accessible suites. Its a battle, as obviously the rental company does not want to do this for them due to cost. Elena has had to threaten a lawsuit to get things moving and still, nothing is getting done. 

    Old buildings and cost is for sure a factor here in Canada. Companies and business owners think that because of this, they can get away with lack of access. The problem comes when theres not much to be done about it because of their stubbornness and resistance to change.

    Thanks for posting this topic! 

    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)
  • BrittanyFrank
    BrittanyFrank Moderator Posts: 65 Moderator
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    Renting definitely has it's pros and cons. It's a learning curve to figure out what you really need to make a space accessible. It took me a few years of renting to ask for accommodations like changing my shower door to a curtain. Every management is different about paying for accommodations. I've had some say that I needed to pay for the sidewalk or different accommodations and that was unreasonable on their end. But overall I've been able to get by with some difficulty. We are just looking forward to one day owning and adapting any way we want. Until then we'll have to deal with management and reasonable accommodations.
    WAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 379 Moderator
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    Life as a renter can be an interesting one. Speaking from personal experience, it can be very disheartening to find an accessible place to live. My boyfriend and I (Elena & Dan) were so lucky to get into an building that was made for Veteran's about 3.5 years ago. As many of you know, not everyone has the same idea bout accessibly that we do. 

    We are still going back and forth with the building's owner to get an accessible door installed. It's been the topic of the majority of my communication for the past 3 years. We are at the point now that all e-mails are CC'D to our disability advocate aka. our lawyer. 

    If you too live in Canada and need extra support for your rights as a renter please feel free to contact us, Elena & Brooke and we will be sure to point you in the right direction. It's a basic human right to be able to enter in and out of your home freely. 


    Your WAGS of SCI
    (Elena and Brooke)