Requesting to carry out your own home improvements – fact sheet

Before beginning any improvements, alterations or additions to your home, it is essential that you obtain written permission and any other approvals from us.

A request for improvement should be accompanied by a priced specification plus drawings, where necessary. You should enclose estimates from contractors, any planning or building consents (if needed) together with your reasons for choosing a particular estimate.

It is essential that the improvement you want to complete will not lead to faulty or sub-standard work, which could put your safety at risk. You must provide all relevant certificates and proofs requested by us when we grant permission.

You must not undertake any permanent alterations or improvements to the structure of the property without first discussing with us.

Below are examples of the type of work you need to seek permission to carry out:

  • Erecting a shed or greenhouse – temporary structure only
  • Installing a new bathroom or kitchen
  • Installing a Sky dish, TV aerial, closed circuit television (CCTV) or burglar alarm
  • Changing internal or external light fittings
  • Installing a large stove-style cooker, requiring the removal of a kitchen cupboard
  • Removing kitchen worktop
  • Changing internal doors
  • Installing an outside tap
  • Erecting, removing or moving walls
  • Erecting fence panels
  • Installing a new driveway or dropped kerb – subject to local authority highways application process

Consent may be withheld for the following reasons:

  • The improvement is not in keeping with the rest of the property
  • The improvement will make your home, or any other premises, less safe or secure
  • The improvement will make the property difficult to let or unsuitable for future customers
  • Subsequent maintenance of the improvement will be too costly

We will discuss estimated timescales and will not withhold permission unreasonably if the improvement is one that we will be undertaking within a reasonable timeframe.

Any refusal of consent will be provided to you in writing, explaining why we have reached this decision.

We must agree the estimate in writing before you instruct your contractor to start work. You should keep all invoices and receipts of payment, as we may need to see these documents if an inspection is required once the improvement has been made.

Permission will not be given to install:

  • A gas fire
  • A flueless gas fire
  • A log/wood burner
  • A solid fuel heater
  • Cat or dog flaps in fire door

You can apply for permission to carry out a home improvement on our website. You can also request a paper copy of the application by speaking to a member of the neighbourhoods team.

If you have a probationary tenancy, you do not have the right to make home improvements. However, we will consider applications for minor work such as improving fencing or installing a satellite dish or outside tap.

What things do I need to remember when thinking about making alterations?

  • You are responsible for any repairs to the improvements you make
  • If you move out, you must either leave any improvements or put your home back to its original condition. Failure to do so may result in you being charged
  • You must make sure the work is done properly and safely, using an agreed/registered contractor
  • If you carry out alterations without our written permission, you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement. We will, however, discuss with you whether retrospective permission can be granted, including what would be required from you to make the works safe and to provide the necessary certificates and other documents
  • If we inspect your home and find that you have completed improvements without our permission, you will be in breach of your tenancy and may be required to put your home back to its original condition, at your own expense
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