This section is concerned with residential facilities such as boarding houses, group homes and nursing homes. There is usually no difference in the legal rights of people in government-controlled or in private institutions.
Licensing of Residential Facilities
General requirements (for example, fire standards or hygiene) are administered by local government and semi-government authorities. There are general standards for residential facilities of all kinds.
No specific legislation governing residential facilities is in force at present, however note should be made of the Disability Services Act 2011, which deals with the provision of services for the disabled, including accommodation, and sets the standards for the provision of those services. Complaints can be directed to the Department of Health or the Ombudsman.
Problems often arise for disabled people in boarding houses, hostels, and other residences when landlords impose large rent increases or attempt to evict residents. Disabled people often have a licence and not a lease. This is normally because they will not have a right to exclusive possession of the premises (for example, someone else, usually the proprietor, can enter their room/flat at any time). A licence does not normally protect a tenant’s rights to the same extent as a lease.
Accidents and Injuries
People injured in residential facilities may be able to take action against the persons or bodies responsible for the premises if there has been a breach of duty of care. See Accidents and Insurance.