Navigating NDIS home modifications as a tenant

Home modifications make an NDIS participant’s home more accessible and more comfortable to use, ensuring they can safely access each room. Home modifications make it easier to carry out the activities of daily life. NDIS participants who are tenants in rental properties can apply for home modifications to be funded. However, there are special considerations and rules regarding the design and installation of home modifications in rentals.

Home modifications in the National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a federal government funding scheme that provides funds to people with a disability. Funding is allocated in an NDIS plan for different types of resources, care and social support.

Core support funding can be used for home modifications.

Home modifications are changes made to a home that make it more suitable and comfortable for a person with a disability. Adaptions and modifications also address safety concerns for the NDIS participant or their carer.

There are three types of home modifications under the NDIS:

  • Category A minor home modifications

  • Category B minor home modifications

  • Complex home modifications

Minor home modifications

Category A minor modifications cost up to $10,000. An occupational therapist (OT) needs to undertake an assessment to help you determine what modifications are required and will suit your needs. The OT will work with you to complete an Assessment template for minor home modifications. A quote for works is not required.

Category B minor modifications cost between $10,000 and $20,000. An NDIS home modification assessor, a specially trained OT, must assess these modifications.

Complex home modifications

More complex home modifications require structural changes. Examples include removing walls to create more space in a room, widening hallways or adding a lift to provide access to a second level. Complex home modifications change the structure of the property and generally cost more than $20,000. Two itemised quotes outlining the costs of materials and labor for the proposed works must be obtained to apply for complex modifications through the NDIS.

How to access home modifications in a rental property

If you are living in a rental property, you can not arrange NDIS home modifications without providing the homeowner with the details of the proposed modifications. The homeowner must provide written approval for the modifications to be made before the job can commence.

You must have written approval from the homeowner for each category and every home modification you wish to have made.

If you are living in a rental and require modifications at the property, it is useful to know that:

  • you should not spend money on modifications before the homeowner and the NDIS approve the modifications

  • a homeowner or landlord may refuse permission for modifications to be carried out

  • home modifications must be carried out by a licensed tradesperson with appropriate qualifications and insurance

  • you should keep all invoices and provide them to the homeowner if requested

  • once modifications are carried out, it is unlikely you will be able to receive further funding for modifications (unless your situation and requirements change a lot)

Types of home adaptions

Your OT might suggest that you need to make minor changes at home called home adaptions, which are not considered home modifications. During home modification assessments, your occupational therapist might recommend equipment such as:

  • grab rails

  • accessible tapware or a hand-held shower

  • a shower chair or commode

  • assistive technology like remote lighting

  • a weighted shower curtain

  • lever taps or door handles

  • non-slip mats for the bathroom floor

  • portable ramps

These devices and accessories are not considered to be home modifications. These are simple and easy-to-implement solutions. You can buy them with your own money.

These adaptations are generally low-cost and can be bought from regular retail outlets like hardware stores or home and living stores. A handyman can install these items for you, they are usually easy to use.

If you wish to install a home adaptation in a rental property, it does pay to check with the landlord or homeowner first. It is unlikely that a homeowner would refuse your request for these adaptations if they make it easier and more comfortable for you.

Who is eligible for home modifications?

An NDIS participant may be eligible for modifications at home if:

  • there are risks to their safety at home

  • they have difficulty moving around comfortably at home, or get into all the rooms

  • they can’t use the shower or bathroom

  • their carers are at risk or unsafe

  • they can’t pursue their goals or interests at home

Eligibility for home modifications is not restricted to people who live in their own home or in a specialist disability accommodation. The NDIS will fund home modifications for people who live in a rental property.

It is important to note that the homeowner is responsible for routine repairs and maintenance within a lease agreement.

Meet Nursed Care

Nursed Care has a proven track record in helping NDIS participants achieve their goals, carry out everyday tasks, and gain more independence in their daily lives. We work all around the metropolitan Sydney area to provide a wide range of NDIS disability living supports, including personal care, domestic assistance, transport and social support.

Nursed Care for home modifications

Nursed Care is an accredited NDIS service provider that delivers minor and complex home modifications for improved accessibility and safety. Nursed Care home modification services include the installation of handrails, hoists, and ramps. We also complete disability bathroom renovation projects and structural jobs, including lifts, access ramps and remedial works.

Nursed Care building and construction jobs are carried out with all the necessary designs in place. Our team will ensure that all modification documentation is provided to meet legal requirements, including:

  • 3D renders

  • virtual tours

  • plans and drawings 

  • outlines of structural changes

  • itemised materials list

  • Safe Work method statements

  • risk assessments

  • compliance and certification files

From hanging picture hooks to completely renovating your bathroom at your current home, Nursed Care can help. If you are building a new home or redesigning multiple areas at your property so that you can live independently, Nursed Care is here to help with your building works. Get in touch today by phoning (02) 8488 8955, or complete the request for contact form on our website.

Related questions

If you would like to arrange modifications through the NDIS, follow these steps:

  1. contact your NDIS support coordinator, local area coordinator or local NDIS office to discuss your needs and eligibility

  2. complete necessary assessment with an OT (minor home modifications type A) or home modifications assessor

  3. develop a plan that outlines your modifications and lodge your request with the NDIS

  4. select an accredited provider to carry out the home modifications

  5. consider selecting a building works project manager

  6. commence modification works

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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Our friendly staff are eager to help you live your best life. Whether you need new accommodation, supports, home modifications or simply want to join our day programs we’ll ensure you’re looked after. 

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