Finding an accessible property to buy or rent

Finding a property to buy or rent with accessible features can often be a difficult and time consuming process. Some of the tips listed below may make it easier to locate a suitable property.

There are 3 types of housing you may like to look for:

  • Accessible housing is designed for people who require step-free and barrier-free access and is able to accommodate wheelchair users in all areas of the home.
  • Adaptable housing can be easily adapted to become an accessible house as it’s designed to meet the changing needs of its occupants.
  • Modified housing is housing which has had some level of adaptation already completed and available for use, such as an access ramp or bathroom alterations.

Firstly, decide on the type of property you are looking for, house, townhouse, apartment, studio or unit, etc.

Next, list some of the design features you are looking for to make it easier for you to enter and move around your home.

Design features

  • A safe path of travel from the street entrance and/or parking area to the entrance that is level, continuous and free of steps.
  • At least one level entrance, free of steps, into the dwelling—can include lift or ramp access.
  • Internal doors and corridors that are large enough to allow ease of movement between spaces.
  • Open plan kitchen and living areas.
  • A toilet and bathroom on the ground (or entry) level that allows easy access.
  • A bathroom that contains a hobless (step-free) shower recess.
  • Reinforced walls around the toilet, shower and bath to allow the safe installation of grabrails at a later date, if required.

Your local Home Assist Secure, LifeTec or HACC Home Modification Service can provide information on fixtures and fittings that may overcome some of the design barriers in your homes.

When you have decided exactly what you are looking for, contact your local real estate agent to help you in your search.

You could also email a list of the features you need to other real estate agents who may be able to help. You can search for real estate agents registered with the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).

You will need to discuss changes to any fixtures or fittings or any modifications you may need with the landlord before signing the lease.

Livable Housing Australia Design guidelines

Livable Housing Australia’s nationally-endorsed Livable Housing Design Guidelines describe the features that help make a home more livable. Look for properties that have received a silver, gold or platinum certification.

A number of high profile residential development companies and individual builders in Queensland are already using the Livable Housing Australia Design Guidelines in new construction—including the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games village.

To find out which builders and developers are using the guidelines, visit the Livable Housing Australia website or contact Livable Housing Australia on 1300 738 913.

More information