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We all want our house to feel like a home and sometimes that means putting your own stamp on things. This could be something small, like painting a room or putting up a shelf. It could be something larger like putting a conservatory on the back of your house.
As part of our commitment to providing high-quality homes, we will also continue to invest in your home. We do this through various planned programmes of improvements across all of our estates including replacing kitchens, bathrooms and heating installations.
Can you make improvements to your home?
- In most cases we’ll be happy for you to paint, decorate and do some minor DIY in your home, but you’ll need to check with us first before you start any work.
- It depends on what improvements you want to make to your home, whether we would give you permission or not. Your tenancy agreement can give you an idea of whether home improvements are usually allowed in your property.
- We wouldn’t normally grant permission for improvements to your home where there are any other issues with your tenancy that we might need to take into account, such as serious rent arrears or anti-social behaviour (though remember there is support available if you’re struggling to pay).
What sort of improvements can you make to your home?
- This depends on your tenancy and the type of home you live in, so please read your tenancy agreement, or contact us to check using the form below.
- Even if you just want to make a small improvement to your home, we need to make sure there are no legal or technical reasons why it can’t be made, and that none of your neighbours will be affected by the work.
- For example, something as simple as swapping your carpet to hardwood floors could create a noise problem for your neighbours. We’ll also check whether the work might cause any safety concern or impact the structure of the building.
- If you’d like to make a change that involves electrics or plumbing (for example, installing an electric shower) you’ll need to use a certified contractor once we have given you permission to make the improvement.
- Where needed, you’ll also have to make sure you have the right planning permission for any improvements, which is usually done through the planning department of your local authority.
- Remember to always ask our permission before making any changes to your home, and please contact us if you have any questions.
- Please note, we don’t normally allow changes to be made in communal (shared) areas.
How do you request permission?
- You can contact us about improving your own home using the below form. This will ask you to provide details of what you want to improve, and will collect enough information to help us make the right decision.
- Please don’t start any work on your home until we’ve said yes. If you do, you might put your tenancy at risk. If we give permission, we will usually expect any works to be completed within 12 weeks - please talk to us if you think the work might take longer
What will we do?
- Once you contact us and have asked for our permission, we’ll assess your application and all of the information that you have provided. We will consider the building, your tenancy and the circumstances of your request.
- Depending on the change you want to make, we may need to visit and inspect your home.
- We’ll come back to you within six weeks, sometimes sooner. If we think we’ll need a little longer to assess your application and make a decision then we’ll send an interim reply during that time.
- If we say no, we’ll always give a reason why. If you’re unhappy with our decision you’ll have the opportunity to appeal.
What are planned improvements?
Every year we carry out improvements to our properties. We prioritise which improvement works need to be done each year by using our property data, information gathered from residents, and the knowledge of local staff.
Planned improvements are different from reactive repairs when we respond to reports from residents that something in their home is broken. It is proactive, instead of reactive.
Each year we need to balance our desire to invest and improve our homes, with how much money we have to spend on planned improvements.
Our planned improvement programmes include:
- Kitchen replacements
- Bathroom replacements
- Heating installations
- Window and door replacements
- Re-roofing and structural improvements
- Communal painting and decorating
As a minimum, we are committed to ensuring that our homes meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
What do we do when we complete planned improvements?
If we are planning to complete some planned improvements to your home, or building, we will discuss these with you.
We will explain the process, the impact on you, and the expected timeline.
If the planned improvements will impact any of our homeowners, then we will consult with them on this prior to beginning any work. This is because home owners will need to pay a share of the cost of improvement works to things such as roof replacements or structural improvements.
We will arrange inspections and site visits to confirm and validate what work needs to be completed.
If the planned improvement is a kitchen or bathroom replacement, there may be some choices that you can make as part of the process. If this is the case, we will discuss these with you.
We will complete some of the planned maintenance ourselves, and in some cases we will ask our partner contractors to complete the works. We have negotiated contracts with suppliers that we believe provide value for money and quality for residents.
We will communicate with you throughout the process, and where appropriate, check with you at the end that you are happy with the works.