Home improvements by tenants
If you are a secure tenant, you have the right to make improvements or changes to your home. However, you will need our permission first.
The types of works that need permission include:
- changing a fireplace and/or surround
- building a porch
- putting up more kitchen cupboards
- adding a driveway or car port
- changes to structure or layout
- any electrical works
If you would like to do improvement work to your home, it is always best to check with us first. Contact your Neighbourhood Officer who will tell you if you need to apply for permission.
- To get advice on planning and building control issues, please call us on 01884 255255
- Keep receipts for all the work that is carried out. You will need these if you want to claim compensation for improvements when your tenancy ends
- You will be responsible for repairing and maintaining any home improvement that you make
- You will be responsible for putting right any damage caused to the property while the improvement work is being carried out
- You do not need permission to paint or decorate inside your home. We will paint the outside of your home or garage every five years. To see when we will next paint your home, please see Planned Works.
We do not normally permit improvement works to introductory tenants unless there is a health and safety issue.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write giving full details of the work that you wish to carry out. You should tell us who is going to do it and attach or forward copies of any drawings or plans, Planning permission and any other relevant documents. We may need to inspect your property before granting permission.
Please note: The permission we give you to go ahead with a home improvement does not replace the need for you to get Planning permission or comply with current building regulations, (see Building Control).
We normally grant permission for most home improvements, but we often attach conditions. These are to make sure that you use a competent contractor and that the works are completed to an acceptable standard. Also, we normally set a time limit for completing the improvement work. You must tell us when works are finished so that we can come and inspect.
If you leave your home, we reserve the right to request you to put the property back to its original state, for example if you have removed anything from the property that we put in. We may otherwise charge you if we have to do this ourselves.
Please note: If you carry out any home improvements without our permission and we do not give permission after the event, you will have to return the property to its original condition. If you do not remove the unauthorised improvement, we will do it and charge you the full cost.
We may refuse permission for proposals if the improvements:
- are out of keeping with the rest of the home
- are detrimental to the property
- are unreasonable
- are something that the Council plans to do, within a reasonable time
- will make the property difficult to let in the future
- will make the property unsuitable for future tenants
- falls below our standards
We only refuse permission if we have a good reason. If we do refuse, we will write to you and tell you why. If you disagree with our decision (or we attach conditions that you do not agree with) you can appeal by emailing the Housing Services Manager. You should do this within three weeks of our response.
You will be responsible for maintaining any fixtures and fittings you have installed. This includes fitted wardrobes, kitchen cupboards and showers.
We will take on the maintenance for some improvements. This is on condition that:
- permission has been obtained
- the work is properly carried out by a contractor approved by us
- the installation only needs maintenance that we would normally carry out
- you agree to leave the installation intact at the end of your tenancy
We will also carry out maintenance on handyman improvements and this will be charged in accordance to the National Housing Federation Schedule of Rates (NHF SORs). For more information regarding this, please contact us.
Email any queries about maintenance of improvements to email@example.com.