Improving and maintaining your home

Improving and maintaining your home

To make your house a home, you might want to make changes or do some DIY – but it’s important you don’t start any work without talking to us first. In most cases we’ll be happy for you to make minor changes, but you still need to let us know what you want to do and ask us for permission before you begin.

Improvements you’ll need our permission for

You’ll need our permission before making any alterations to your home – including:

  • Changing kitchen units or kitchen layouts
  • Changing a bathroom
  • Laying laminate flooring
  • Changing the services to your home, for example putting in a gas supply, adding electrical sockets and changing heaters
  • Putting in a new fireplace or altering an existing fireplace
  • Aany structural alteration, such as knocking down a wall or removing a built-in cupboard
  • Stairlifts
  • Building a garage, conservatory or other extension
  • Double glazing
  • Putting up a television aerial or satellite dish
  • Putting up fencing, a garden shed or greenhouse
  • Creating off-road parking, driveways, patios and paths in your garden
  • Installing cat/dog flaps to doors

You don’t need our permission for low level decorating, like painting walls.

How to ask for permission

Contact us first to discuss your plans. We’ll need you to send us a letter giving us full details of what you want to do. We’ll get back to you, to either give you permission or tell you why you can’t make the changes.

Making your improvement

If we give you permission to go ahead with the work, you’ll need to:

  • Follow the requirements we give for the permission
  • Get building or planning permission if needed, or any other consents required
  • Have the work carried out by a competent person in a professional manner
  • Provide any certification that you need for the work, such as electrical or FENSA (double glazing) certificates
  • Put right any damage caused during the work to your home or neighbouring properties

When the work is finished

Please let us know so we can inspect the alterations.

You will be responsible for the maintenance, repair and renewal of the alterations you’ve made. For more information, download our repairs responsibilities fact sheet [pdf / 205kb].

You’ll need permission from us if you decide to remove the alteration or improvement. If you want to remove it or alter it again, contact us.

The cost of improvements

You will need to pay for any improvements or DIY in your home.

In some cases the improvements you’re planning might be those we’d make ourselves in the future anyway – in which case we may cover the cost in the form of compensation. However, this will only be paid to you at the end of your tenancy.

Improvements made without permission

If you make alterations to your home without asking our permission you must return the property to its original condition. If you don’t, we’ll carry out the work ourselves and charge you for the cost.