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Home improvements

With our permission, you have the right to carry out improvements to your home if you are a secure tenant.  Before carrying out any work, you must apply for permission, in writing*, to your Housing Officer.  Such work includes the installation of a hot tub.  You must provide details of the alteration, with detailed plans and specifications, where necessary.  In some circumstances, a Technical Officer will visit you to discuss your request. 

You will also need to satisfy planning and building regulations. 

We will not turn down applications for improvements without good reason.  When considering each application, we will take into account whether the improvement could:

  • be non-compliant with legislation
  • be unduly expensive to maintain
  • make the property difficult to let in future
  • be unsuitable to possible future tenants

We will write to you within 10 working days to let you know whether or not we will give consent for you to carry out an improvement to your home.  If we grant consent, we may specify certain requirements and restrictions.

You will be responsible for the cost of any repairs required as a result of faulty installation, poor workmanship or defective materials.  You will also be responsible for the maintenance of alterations or improvements you have carried out.

The inside decoration of your property is your responsibility. 

You don’t need permission to decorate your home or carry out minor improvements such as putting up shelving.

When your tenancy ends, the improvements must be left or restored to the original condition.

* Permission for the installation of a wood burner will be refused as there are significant risks in respect of health and safety.

The right to compensation for improvements

To qualify for compensation for improvements, you must make a claim, in writing, detailing the improvement and its original cost (including copies of invoices) and demonstrate that:

  • the work was carried out after 1 April 1994
  • you held the secure tenancy of the property at the time the work was undertaken
  • you obtained the council’s written consent prior to carrying out the improvement and the work currently meets any conditions imposed on that consent
  • you submit your claim within the 28-day period before the end of your tenancy or 14 days after the termination of your tenancy
  • your tenancy did not end as a result of an eviction or right to buy application
  • you have invoices for work done which includes the costs of labour and materials
  • your claim is for less than £3,000 per improvement and more than £50
  • the work is listed as a ‘qualifying improvement’ and there is a formula for the calculation of compensation. A copy of this can be found in our ‘How to guides, videos and useful downloads’ section.

For further information, please read our Compensation Policy and Procedure, which can be found in our ‘Policies and Performance’ section

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