Equality Act 2010—common parts—reasonable adjustments—physical features
Equality Act 2010—common parts—reasonable adjustments—physical features

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Equality Act 2010—common parts—reasonable adjustments—physical features
  • Physical features
  • Common parts
  • Obligation triggered by tenant
  • Recovering the costs from the disabled tenant
  • Recovering the costs through the service charge—consultation
  • Superior landlord’s consent

Please note that the obligations to make reasonable adjustments to the physical feature of common parts are not yet in force. Therefore, until such time as they are, this Practice Note is for information only.

Physical features

The Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), s 20(4) imposes a general duty to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments to a physical feature where they put a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter compared to a person who is not disabled so as to avoid the disadvantage.

The physical feature may:

  1. arise from the design or construction of a building

  2. be a feature of an approach to, exit from, or access to a building

  3. be a fixture or fitting, or furniture, furnishings, materials, equipment or other chattels, in or on premises, or

  4. any other physical element or quality

Compliance with the duty may involve:

  1. removing the physical feature in question

  2. altering it, or

  3. providing a reasonable means of avoiding it

Common parts

EqA 2010, s 36 applies the duty to make reasonable adjustments to a physical feature to the ‘responsible person’ in relation to the common parts of a building. The responsible person is essentially the landlord. The common parts are the structure and exterior of, and any common facilities within, or used in connection with,