Making improvements or alterations to your council home

Information about getting permission to make alterations to your council home, applying for permission and claiming compensation when you end your tenancy.

Do I need permission to do improvements or alterations to my council home?

If you are a secure lifetime council tenant you have the right to improve your home, but for some improvements it is a condition of your tenancy that you obtain written permission from us before you start work. We will not refuse permission unless we have a good reason. If we refuse permission we will inform you of the reasons why, and if you think this is unreasonable you can challenge the decision by appealing to the housing appeals sub-committee or by taking us to the county court.

If you are a secure flexible council tenant you do not have a right to make alterations or improvements to your home. However, if you do wish to make improvements we may consider an application for permission, you must, however, obtain any necessary planning permissions or building consents. This includes obtaining consent before the installation of a satellite dish or a television aerial on any part of the exterior of the property or any other property belonging to us. However, you will not be entitled to any compensation for improvements made to the property when your tenancy comes to an end.

As a council tenant you must not do anything which is likely to damage the structure of the building or cause damage to shared services, such as plumbing, water supply pipes, electricity, or gas supplies, or sewerage.

You may also need to obtain planning permission and building regulations consent before starting work. We do not need to know about minor work such as internal decorating, but we do need to know about any alterations which affect walls, windows, doorframes, plumbing, heating, gas and electrical services.

If you are not sure if you need permission you should check with your area housing office.

Telephone: (01482) 393939

The kind of things that you will need permission for are:

Any addition or change to the structure or services in your home, including fixtures and fittings such as heating, plumbing and kitchen units, including:

  • aerials and satellite dishes
  • external decoration
  • installation of new windows/doors
  • loft conversion
  • erection of shed/greenhouse
  • installation of patio or driveway/hardstanding.

A lot of repairs are our responsibility and you do not need to do them. These repairs are specified in your tenancy agreement.

The following pdf explains how you can apply for permission to carry out work to your council property.

Council tenants request for permission to carry out works form (pdf 89kb)

How do I apply for permission to carry out work to my council home?

The following pdf explains how you can apply for permission to carry out work to your council property.

Council tenants request for permission to carry out works form (pdf 89kb)

You will need to specify exactly what type of works you wish to carry out together with a plan or drawing, the name of your chosen contractor and the guarantee given by the contractor. If you want to carry out any alterations to any gas pipes or heating appliances to your home you must also ensure that your chosen contractor is gas safe registered and give the contractors gas safe registration number. The gas safe website will give you information on how to find a contractor.

Gas Safe website - Find a registered business (external website)

In the case of any alterations to electrical services to your property, you must ensure that you employ the service of a competent electrician.

If you start work without obtaining written permission, you will be breaking the terms and conditions of your tenancy. We have the right to put things back to the way they were and to charge you for the materials and labour.

If you are granted consent to carry out improvement works, you will be sent some conditions with your permission. Permission is granted subject to you abiding by the conditions issued.

When I end my council tenancy can I claim compensation for works that I have done to my home?

If you are a secure lifetime council tenant, and provided you get permission for improvements or alterations and carry them out satisfactorily you can request a cash payment when you end your tenancy if you have carried out certain types of works. If you have a secure flexible council tenancy you are not entitled to compensation for improvements.

The following pdf document is the government publication giving full details of the scheme.

A better deal for tenants: Your right to compensation for improvements (pdf 263kb)

If you have given notice on your tenancy and wish to apply for compensation please contact your area housing office.

Tel: (01482) 393939

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