Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Test launched to ensure people with learning disabilities enjoy same tenancy rights

A test has been launched in Wales that aims to ensure people with learning disabilities in supported living enjoy the same rights, responsibilities, choice and control in their homes as any other tenants.

The Real Tenancy Test, developed for use in the principality by Cymorth Cymru, the umbrella body for organisations working with vulnerable people in Wales, in partnership with Learning Disability Wales, can be used in supported living and tenancy-based supported housing to indicate the extent to which real tenancy rights are being delivered.

It is designed to be used by support providers, landlords and commissioners as a self-assessment tool to help them understand how their approaches and practices work for, or against, the exercise of real tenancy rights by their tenants and service users. The Test asks 11 key questions to determine whether the tenancy is genuine and gives guidance on where improvements can be made.

The test has been adapted for Welsh providers from the Real Tenancy Test published in 2010 by the National Development Team for inclusion (NDTi) in England.

Chris Rutson, interim director at Cymorth Cymru, said: “Whilst some people with learning disabilities have the same rights, choice and control in their homes as all tenants should, there are others who have tenancies in housing and support services where they do not enjoy the same rights, often because their home operates more like a traditional residential care service.

“The Real Tenancy Test is an important resource in supporting landlords and support providers to assess their current practices and make improvements where necessary to ensure their tenants are receiving real tenancy rights.”

James Crowe, director at Learning Disability Wales added: “Too often, there is an assumption that the rights that we all enjoy as citizens can somehow be watered down or put aside for people with a learning disability. Cymorth Cymru are to be congratulated for recognising the need to cut out the ‘double speak’ about people with a learning disability in the housing field.

“If a person with a learning disability is a tenant in a property then there are certain rights that they must be able to exercise, even if they need support to do so. This Test is a great example of saying what we mean and meaning what we say.”

The Real Tenancy Test can be downloaded from the Cymorth Cymru website.

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