Home improvements making changes to your home

Thinking about carrying out some work on the property? Here’s what you need to think about before starting the project.

What type of work needs permission?

If you are thinking of altering or changing the fabric of the building or changing the fixtures and fittings or even landscaping the gardens you will most likely need our permission before starting the work, this includes:

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Skirtings
  • Solar panels
  • Alterations to stairs and handrails
  • Altering internal layout including structural work
  • Plastering
  • Wall panelling
  • Light and socket fittings
  • Plumbing and heating alterations including outside taps
  • Alterations to bathrooms and kitchens
  • Decking
  • Paving, concreting, patios and hard standings
  • Porches, garages and sheds
  • Fencing
  • Roof and gutter works
  • Dropped kerbs
  • Fitting gas cookers or fires when the supply isn’t available
  • Satellite dishes

This list is not exhaustive. If in doubt, ask first before starting the work.

How do I get permission?

You can apply for permission by filling in our online form (you will be taken to a new page for this form), or alternatively by writing to us, but before applying consider the work you want to carry out, how you are going to do it and the materials you plan to use. Then plan your project and put as much detail as possible into your request. We’ll require the work to be carried out to current industry standards and best practice.

Here’s some of the information you should supply to us, to help with your permission request:

  • Details of materials to be used i.e. type of fencing, doors paving etc
  • How the work is to be carried out (construction details)
  • How much work is to be carried out i.e. square metres of paving etc. or linear metres of fencing
  • How high i.e. fence and wall heights
  • Simple line drawings or detailed plans showing the plan, what is being carried out and what it will look like when finished
  • Who will be carrying out the work
  • Start and finish dates.

Please try to supply as much information as possible. We will not give permission until we can clearly see how your planned changes will affect the property. So, if you don’t supply all the relevant information your request may be denied or delayed.

Health and safety
How long does it take to get permission?
Once I have permission, when can I start the work?
Will I be compensated if I have carried out improvements but then move from the property?

Depending on the work you wish to carry out there may be regulations you need to consider. If it is structural work you will need a structural engineer’s report and calculations. You may also have to apply for Building Regulations approval or planning permission. Any work that involves working with gas must be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer and a certificate produced and passed to us upon completion.

Electrical work including changing light fittings and sockets must be carried out by a qualified electrician in accordance with the 17th edition and a Part P electrical certificate produced and given to us.

Don’t forget health and safety. You are responsible for managing the project and for making sure that the work is carried out in a safe manner and your family, visitors and workers are not put at risk. If the work may disturb any asbestos containing materials these must be dealt with by a licensed contractor who must produce waste transfer notes and cleanliness or air clearance certificates which must be provided to us. Typical asbestos containing materials you may encounter are floor tiles, textured coatings (Artex), wall panels, toilet cisterns etc.

Also remember insurance cover. Any contractor you appoint must have sufficient insurance to cover any mishaps. You will be responsible to put right any damage caused by poor workmanship or failure of materials so it is important that you and the contractor have the right level of insurance cover.

Please remember the work will be at your cost and does not guarantee that permission will be granted. We do not reimburse for any costs you have acquired for providing reports, plans etc. for failed permission requests.


We aim to contact you directly with our decision within ten working days.

Please remember that if you fail to supply all of the relevant information, it may result in your request being delayed or denied.

If you are granted permission you have three months from the date we have granted permission to have the work carried out, so make sure you have the funds available and the work planned out before asking for permission. You must tell us the date the work is starting and when it is completed and allow reasonable access for us to check the work while it is being carried out and when it is completed.

If you can’t or will not provide the appropriate certificates and structural reports etc or the work is to a poor standard we can appoint someone to check the work and provide suitable certification or put the work right and you will be recharged.

We have an existing policy in place for tenants who make improvements to their home. Under this policy you have to provide evidence that we gave you permission to carry out the improvements and that they were completed to the required standard. You also have to provide evidence on the cost. You may be entitled to compensation depending on when the improvements were completed. It is worked out by a formula taking account of cost and age.

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