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Guide to Tenant's Alterations

You need written consent from us before you can carry out any improvements or alterations to the property you live in. This is set out under the terms of the 1985 Housing Act, Section 97(1).

Use our online form to apply to carry out works to a council property.

If you are applying for permission to extend one of our properties you must provide detailed drawings and photographs to support your application. Applications without the necessary drawings/photographs will be rejected for lack of information.

Generally, we won't refuse any reasonable requests from tenants to improve their property. However, any breaches of your tenancy agreement (such as rent arrears or anti-social behaviour orders) will mean you lose the privilege of making home improvements.

Leaseholders can carry out internal decorating and can change interior fixtures and fittings without asking us for permission. You will need formal, written permission before fitting new windows, entrance doors or removing walls if required by your lease. 

We won't allow you to remove any structural walls, or do anything that might damage the structure of the building or disrupt shared services.

You will need to check if you require planning permission or building control approval before you begin. 

We can provide advice and guidance on your proposal to help avoid unexpected costs or unwanted outcomes. We can also make suggestions you hadn't previously considered.

You must let us know if you have carried out any previous home alterations without permission. We may need to carry out an inspection to decide whether there has been any damage to the property and if it still meets required building standards.

We have the right to charge you for any damage to the property and for the full cost of returning the property to its original standards.

Examples of work that do not require permission:

  • jobs that do not affect landlords' fixtures and fittings;
  • jobs that do not require any demolition or alteration of existing structure;
  • jobs that do not require building control approval or planning consent;
  • jobs that do not require gas safety regulation;
  • jobs that will not require 'significant' making good if removed, or will not impose any financial loss to the landlord if removed;
  • jobs that will not impose any burden on the landlord;
  • jobs that will not reasonably be judged to adversely affect a neighbour, either during the works or after completion;
  • jobs that do not diminish or devalue the accommodation of the property or permanently remove an asset;
  • installing dado rails or fixing up coving;
  • replacing skirtings or architraves;
  • changing light shades and lamp holders (does not include replacement of light fittings unless like-for-like);
  • fitting items to walls like pictures, mirrors and shelves (of a reasonable number);
  • replacement of toilet seats (no plumbing changes without consent);
  • installing handrails/grab rails;
  • installing pre-fabricated shed or greenhouse up to 4ft x 6ft (1200mm x 1800mm) at least 1000mm away from any building or boundary;
  • landscaping of gardens excluding any excavations over 1200mm deep;
  • erection of rear garden fences up to 1800mm high;
  • 1 x satellite dish per household/bungalow (does not apply to flats);
  • cat flaps to rear or side doors (with the awareness that it is likely they may need to be reinstated);
  • basic supplementary home security including: 1 x additional door lock and chain, window locks, door peep hole and plug-in security lighting;
  • burglar alarms.

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and if you are unsure on how to proceed please email the Planned Maintenance team or call 01233 330484.