Call For More Accessible Holiday Properties

Booking a holiday rental is mostly a matter of selecting the right number of bedrooms and a nice view for many of us. However, if you or a family member is a wheelchair user, or has limited mobility, there are a lot of hidden considerations to take into account. This rules out many options, leading to disappointment, and lost potential revenue for the landlord.

In the wake of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Property Wire recently called for holiday homeowners to make their properties more accessible to disabled people. This would open up choices for the estimated near 15 million people living with a disability in the UK, and their families and carers who need to accompany them on holiday.


Outside access

Wheelchair users need to have space to unload their chairs and other equipment, and a well-maintained level surface to allow them to reach the property safely. Gravel is a particular challenge for wheelchair users, so ideally this should be replaced with a smoother surface.

Step-free access to the property is obviously a priority for wheelchair users. If this is not possible, consider if a temporary ramp could be stored in a garage or outhouse, for use when needed.


Indoor accessibility

Widened doorways, smooth wooden flooring, and downstairs bedrooms and bathrooms, are all preferable for the convenience of wheelchair users. Some people may be able to use a stairlift if downstairs facilities are not possible.

A walk in shower for elderly and disabled people is ideal, or a wet room which provides easy wheelchair access. Even providing extra grab handles in the bath or shower may open up the holiday let to a wider range of potential customers. Shower seats, anti-slip mats, raised toilet seats, and emergency pull cords are also very helpful features to have.

Touch-free technology for bathrooms is a great option for people with mobility issues, and is a feature that will be appreciated by all the tenants.


The National Accessible Scheme (NAS)

The NAS is a scheme set up by Visit England to help less abled people find suitable holiday accommodation in the UK. They assess properties according to a strict criterion, and grade them into the following three categories:

  • Mobility impaired and elderly people
  • Visually impaired and blind people
  • Hearing impaired and deaf people

There are a further nine subsections, which are each represented by a logo in accordance to the criteria.  These sections offer guidance for guests who can climb stairs but need grip handles or banisters; guests who use a wheelchair but are able to take up to three steps; and guests who use a wheelchair and travel independently.

Further subsections indicate suitability for wheelchair users who are assisted by carers, family, or friends; facilities suitable for people with visual impairments or who are registered blind; and those suitable for deaf people and those suffering with hearing loss.

The holiday homeowner is encouraged to make a full and honest access statement, backed up with photographs, to illustrate how disabled user-friendly the property is.

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