If you are a council tenant and you want to carry out alterations to your home, you will need to apply to us for permission before starting the work.
We don’t want to prevent you from carrying out alterations to your home. However, we need to make sure that any alterations are carried out safely, professionally and in line with the law.
What is an alteration?
Examples of things you need our permission for include:
- satellite dishes
- security lights, or cameras
- fencing, gates and posts
- paving, slabbing, patios or crazy paving
- heating systems, or fireplaces
- kitchens and bathrooms
- gazebos, huts, or playhouses
- pens, or runs, for animals
- pigeon lofts
- brick walls.
You don't need our permission before you decorate inside your home, or before you lay carpets or floor tiles. For laminate flooring, you should contact us for advice on how it should be installed.
Permission to run a business from a council home
If you want to run a business from your council home, you must get our written permission first. You should contact your local area housing office for the town you live in.
Alterations carried out without permission
In some cases, you may not have known that you needed our permission. If this happens, you should still apply to us for our permission for the work you have already carried out.
Although we do not give direct financial help for alterations, you may qualify for compensation from us for alterations which improve your home, as long as you received our permission to carry out the alteration. We will pay this compensation at the end of your tenancy. For more details about the types of improvement that qualify for compensation, contact your local housing office.
Reasons to refuse permission
We will always try to give our permission. However, we may refuse permission:
- if you are behind with your rent
- if we are concerned that the alteration will not be safe, or may cause unreasonable disturbance to your neighbours, or
- we cannot accept the changes to the layout of the property.
How to ask for permission to alter your home
You must get our permission before you begin any work inside, or outside, your home. You must wait until you have received our final written permission before you start any work.
Write to your local area housing office. Your letter should include the following:
- your name, address and phone number
- a description of the work you would like to carry out
- a drawing, or sketch, of your proposed alteration
- the make and model of any appliances and fittings (eg. electrical appliances, complete kitchens, windows), how much these will cost and where you will buy them from
- the size and dimensions of any structures (eg. hut, garage)
- details of who will carry out the work for you
- details of any planning permission you have already received, and
- any other relevant information.
What happens next?
We will acknowledge receipt of your letter. If we can give our permission, we will send you a decision letter with details of any conditions you must meet. The letter will include an agreement slip which you should sign and return before starting the alteration. In some cases, we may tell you to contact Planning, or Building Standards, for approval before you begin work to see if there are regulations that you should keep to.
We aim to grant permission within 28 days, but it may take longer. If we cannot give you permission, we will write to you to explain why.
After you have carried out the alteration, you must contact Permissions, who will arrange for a final inspection.
Does permission run out?
Permission only applies to you and your current home. If you have not carried out alterations within 1 year of receiving our permission, you should contact us again to make sure we still approve of your alteration. Permission has no fixed time limit. Always keep your permission letter as proof.