Applying for permission to make alterations to your home

Improvements

You may, at your own expense, improve, redecorate and extend the property, subject to gaining all the necessary approvals, such as planning permission and building control. Restricted work must be carried out by an approved contractor. We recommend that you
employ an appropriately qualified design consultant should you wish to carry out any structural works.

The following list gives examples of items for which you must obtain permission:

  • Erection of outbuildings, garages and sheds
  • Extension to the property
  • Removal of internal walls
  • Any work to the electricity or gas installations
  • Installation of kitchen or bathroom fitments
  • Installation of any heating system
  • Replacement doors or windows
  • Disabled adaptations
  • Installations of drive, hard standing or
  • dropped kerb
  • Fish ponds
  • Extensive patio or decked areas
  • Installation of laminate flooring

You are advised to get advice from your Area Housing Manager before starting any improvements. At the end of the tenancy, you must remove any structures or improvements,  granted permission for them to remain.

Your right to compensation for improvements

At the end of your tenancy, secure tenants may be entitled to compensation for certain specified home improvements.

Requesting Permission from Us

You are required to seek permission from your Area Housing Manager in the following circumstances. Failure to do so may affect your tenancy.

Home improvements and alterations
You must apply in writing if you would like to alter or improve your property or garden in any way. Proper plans will need to be drawn up by a builder or architect if the work involves altering the structure of the building. Some alterations and improvements may need
planning permission and building regulations approval. You must not start work before you have been granted all the relevant permissions.

Examples of alterations or improvements include:

  • Alterations to the structure, such as removing an
  • internal wall or removing a fireplace
  • Improvements, such as replacing the kitchen units
  • and bathroom suite, installing a shower or
  • erecting a conservatory
  • Installing laminate, hardwood or tiled flooring
  • Erecting a shed or garage
  • Erecting an aviary
  • Erecting or replacing fencing
  • Installing a hard standing and dropped kerb
  • Erecting a satellite dish or television aerial
  • Removal of trees
  • At the end of your tenancy, you must remove any structures or improvements where we have not granted you permission for them to remain. If you do not do this we may charge you for the cost of us removing them.
     

Your Right to Compensation for Improvements

As a secure tenant, you may be entitled to compensation when your tenancy ends for
improvements you have made to your home. You will not get compensation if you are buying your home through the right to buy scheme, because improvements are not included in the purchase price.

You may apply for compensation even if you did not get permission for the improvements in advance. However, you will not receive compensation if we refuse permission. See page 17 for advice regarding seeking permission.

The right to compensation applies to improvements which were started on or after 1 April 1994 and applies to the following improvements:

  • Bath or shower, wash-hand basin and toilet
  • Kitchen sink and work surfaces for preparing food
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or in kitchen
  • Central heating, hot water boilers and other types of heating
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Pipe, water tank or cylinder insulation
  • Loft and cavity wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing of windows or external doors
  • Double-glazing or other window replacement or secondary glazing
  • Re-wiring or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fitting (including smoke detectors)
  • Security measures (excluding burglar alarms)

You can claim compensation for the cost of materials, but not appliances, such as
cookers or fridges, and also for labour costs, but not your own labour. Interior
decoration (painting and wallpapering) does not qualify for compensation.

How to make a claim

You should make a claim for compensation when you give notice that you are ending your tenancy. You have up to 14 days after your tenancy ends to make a
claim in writing with the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • What improvements you have made
  • How much each improvement cost
  • The date the improvements began and finished

How the compensation is calculated

You can get up to £3,000 for any one improvement, but there is no compensation for improvements worth less than £50. If you received financial assistance (a
grant) to help make your improvements, we will take off the amount your grant was worth from the cost of your improvements.

We calculate your compensation based on the age,condition and quality of the improvement. You will need to give us an invoice to show how much your improvements cost. If you do not have an invoice, tell us straight away and give us an estimate of the total cost.
We will also take into account any money you may owe the Council and deduct that from the
compensation. We will prosecute tenants who make a false or inflated claim.