Making your own improvements

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.

If you’re a leaseholder or shared owner, go to this page to find out more about your responsibilities. These include asking for permission to carry out alterations, additions and improvements to your home; using a ‘gas safe’ registered engineer to service the heating system every year; and making sure that a qualified electrical engineer carries out any electrical work to your home. Some of these responsibilities are because what you do may affect the safety of the building and others who live in it.

If you have an assured, secure or fixed term tenancy, we're happy for you to make minor changes (like decorating, changing carpets or putting up shelves) without our permission. For anything else, you'll need to let us know what you want to do and ask us for permission before you begin.


Examples where you'll need permission 

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 or changing heaters
  • Putting in a new fireplace or altering an existing fireplace
  • Any structural alteration, such as knocking down a wall or removing a built-in cupboard
  • Installing a stairlift
  • Building a garage, conservatory or other extension
  • Installing double glazing
  • Putting up a television aerial or satellite dish
  • Putting up fencing, a garden shed or greenhouse
  • Creating off-road parking, driveways, patios or paths in your garden
  • Installing cat/dog flaps to doors

How to ask for permission

Please contact us first to discuss your plans. We’ll ask for full details of what you'd like to do. We’ll either give you permission or let you know 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 any of the requirements we may give you.
  • 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 contact us so we can inspect the alterations.

You’ll be responsible for the maintenance, repair and renewal of the alterations you’ve made. Our repairs responsibilities page also tells you more.

You’ll need permission from us if you decide to remove the alteration or improvement, so please contact us.


The cost of improvements

You'll need to pay for any improvements you want to make (for example, installing a new kitchen) 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 part of 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.