As a landlord we have the responsibility for maintaining the structure and fabric of your home. However you may, at some time want to make some improvements to your home that are not covered under our repairing responsibilities, or replace something in your home that we are not due to replace for several years. In this case you may want to carry out the work yourself. Your tenancy agreement gives you the legal right to make improvements like this, as long as you get written agreement first.
We cannot unreasonably refuse to allow you to carry out improvements to your home, but improvements which we believe will reduce the value of your home, be unsafe or cause a nuisance to your neighbours will not usually be allowed. We may also set some guidelines that you must comply with. You must also check with the Council's Planning Department to see if you need Planning Permission or Building Regulations Approval. Please see leaflet below.
Any improvements you carry out to your home will not lead us to increase your rent.
Please use the form below if you wish to carry out improvements, or call us on 01543 462621 for a form or any other query.
Please send us the application form at least 28 days before you plan to start work.
We may wish to visit you to inspect your proposals to check that there will not be any issues or problems arising from them before we give permission.
You must not start work until you have received written permission, and confirmed your agreement of the conditions under which the works can be carried out. Examples of the type of conditions you will be asked to stick to are set out below:
Information for fitting a shower
Information for erecting fencing or gates
Information for erecting a greenhouse or a shed
Information on fitting a satellite dish
Information to install a driveway or a garage
Information to renew or alter kitchen units or worktops
Information to install a conservatory or a lean to
Information to install external doors or windows
Information to install a water meter
Information to install or remove internal walls or structures
Information to renew or alter bathrooms or toilets
When the work is finished
You must tell us as soon as the work is finished. We'll visit within 20 working days to check that everything is OK. If it isn't, we will ask you to put the work right or to restore the property to how it was before.
Who repairs and maintains your improvements?
It's up to you to maintain any improvement that you put in except gas central heating where you can take advantage of the Council's gas servicing programme at no extra cost to you. Your system must be accepted onto the programme before the Council becomes responsible for its maintenance. This will not normally happen until the12-month guarantee has expired. An inspection will be carried out beforehand. You will have to leave the system behind if you leave the property.
What happens to the improvement if you leave?
If you leave your home and you have replaced a fixture or fitting belonging to the Council e.g. kitchen units you must leave them behind or you will be charged for the replacement cost. You may be able to take your improvement with you -a conservatory for example but you must 'make good' after you've removed the improvement, by filling holes and repainting for instance. If you didn't do this we would charge you for putting it right (See Rechargeable Repairs contained in the Housing Services Repairs Handbook below). If in doubt please contact us.
If you leave the improvement behind when you move you may be eligible for compensation.
If you end your tenancy soon after you have carried out an improvement, you may be entitled to compensation. We will only pay compensation on a limited number of improvements. You will only receive the compensation if you have followed the guidelines set out; these are in addition to our general guidelines. More details on compensation for improvements are contained in your Housing Services Repairs Handbook below.
Last Updated: 26/08/2016