If you are wheel-chair bound and are looking for an apartment to rent, you should specifically ask property managers if they have handicap-accessible apartments for rent. While this is something you may find with some buildings, there are also a lot of apartments for rent that are not handicap-accessible. If you cannot find one that is suitable as-is, here are some tips to help you find real estate that will work with your lifestyle.
Look For a First-Floor Unit
While many apartment complexes may have elevators, it will probably be easier for you to live if you are on the first floor of a building. First-floor units are typically handicap-accessible in most buildings, and living on the first floor will be more convenient for you if you are in a wheelchair.
Examine The Openings In The Unit
If you have some scheduled appointments to see first-floor units, one of the main things you should examine is the openings of the doorways. Standard doorways are not always big enough for a wheelchair to get through; however, some buildings might have wider openings. The best thing to do is wheel yourself through an apartment to see how well you can maneuver through it.
As you examine the units you are interested in, you may also want to take note of the following details:
- The height of the toilet
- The size of the bathroom (to make sure your wheelchair fits)
- The type of tub it has
If you have been in a wheelchair for any length of time, you will probably know other details to check as you are there.
Find Out If You Can Make Modifications
If you cannot find a unit that is totally designed for a person in a wheelchair, you could always talk to the owners of the apartments you view to find out if you are allowed to make modifications for your needs. For example, you might want to ask if you can have grab bars installed on the walls in the bathroom to help you get around easier and safer. You could also ask if they would allow you to remove a door from its hinges to give you more space to get in and out of the bedroom or bathroom.
As you begin searching for the right apartment to rent, ask upfront if the landlord has any handicap-accessible units. If not, you could still visit some of the units to see if any would work for your needs.