The 3am Test for Inclusive Property Listings

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The 3am Test for Inclusive Property Listings

The AccessiblePRS "3am Test" describes how sales and letting agents can provide enough of the right kind of information in property listings for disabled renters.

AccessiblePRS 3am Test for Inclusive Letting Agents Accessible Property Listings

What is The 3am Test?

Can a disabled renter make an informed decision on whether to proceed with a property based on the information they can find in the middle of the night, without the need to contact a letting agent for further details?

Why the 3am Test is important:

The private rented sector has evolved to be fast moving and competitive in ways that exclude disabled and older renters, because they cannot compete on properties with their non-disabled counterparts.

Clear, online information provision - i.e. such that it passes the 3am test - enables a proactive, disabled renter to be the first to view a property, booking a viewing as soon as the agency phone lines open the next morning. It addresses the process of finding an accessible rental property and is another step towards levelling the playing field between disabled and non-disabled searchers. (It does not address the issue of a chronic lack of supply.)

When clear accessibility information is not explicit in a property listing, a disabled renter has to contact the letting agent before booking a viewing. This usually incurs delays and is not reliable, as often the agent doesn't remember the property clearly or provides incomplete information or omits crucial details (for example, the three steps up to front door!). Disabled renters have to seek further information on nearly every property they look at online.

Without clear accessibility information, a property which might have been perfect may be let while the disabled renter waits for details from the agent.

Disabled renters cannot currently filter properties to meet their needs in the same way as a renter without accessibility needs. It is normal for searches to take 9-18 months. It is a gruelling, demoralising process evoking feelings of frustration, rage, belittlement, invisibility and grief. And as letting agents are the first point of contact, addressing this issue is in everyone's best interest.

What next?

If you are a letting agent and want to learn more, have a look at our Accessible Letting Scheme or explore our one hour online training sessions.