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Altering your council home

As a Homes First tenant, you must ask for approval from us before carrying out any alterations to your council property.

If works are carried out without prior permission you may be asked to remove the alteration and reinstate the property back to its original condition at your own expense. Tenants on an insecure tenancy will not be granted permission for large alterations. 

You do not need permission for decorating the inside of your home, but you will need permission for:

  • laying laminated flooring
  • installing a water meter
  • installing an outside tap
  • alterations to kitchens and bathrooms 
  • installing a TV aerial or satellite dish 
  • outside redecoration 
  • putting up a shed 
  • laying a hard standing for car or caravan parking
  • putting up fencing
  • altering the internal layout of the property
  • Installing an electric vehicle (EV) charge point - see our Electric vehicle charging for tenants webpage for more guidance.

Some alterations will require planning consent in addition to permission from Homes First. It is your responsibility to obtain planning consent. This must be provided when submitting your application otherwise Homes First may decline permission for the alterations. If you are unsure if planning consent is required, visit the Planning Portal website. Otherwise you can request pre-application planning advice from us online. Fees start at £15.

Some larger alterations may require a visit from a Homes First maintenance surveyor. The surveyor will make sure the proposed alterations are safe, practical and do not cause a nuisance to your neighbours or surrounding properties. 

Submit your application

To make an application for permission to alter your council home, you should complete our online form:

Safety regulations

When deciding, we take safety issues into account. Some items are fitted for safety and must not be removed. This includes: 

  • door closers fitted for fire safety
  • special locks on fire escape doors
  • window restrictors
  • vents
  • smoke detectors
  • safety signs

Some items have specified safety standards. Doors must meet fire safety standards and glass must meet current safety regulations. 

Any works carried out to gas appliances or electrical installations must be carried out by a registered "Gas Safe" engineer or NICEIC registered electrician. We will ask you for a copy of their registration. 

Other considerations

Any reduction in value of the property and future costs to us are also considered. For instance, if alteration or improvement means your home has fewer rooms. 

We will not refuse permission without a reason. We may refuse if you owe us rent, Council Tax or any other outstanding debt.

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Last modified on 27 September 2023