Altering your council home

Tenants must ask for approval before starting work to alter or adjust your council home. If work is carried out without permission we may take action against you and you may have to reinstate your home back to the way it was before at your own cost. You do not need permission for decorating the inside of your home, but most other things will need permission. such as:

  • alterations to fixtures and fittings 
  • additional services and utilities 
  • putting up outside TV aerial or satellite dish 
  • outside redecoration 
  • putting up a shed or garage 
  • laying a hard standing for car or caravan parking

Some things such as having a water meter installed are straightforward. Other alterations may require planning permission. You may investigate this yourself or ask us for help.

Safety regulations

When deciding we take into account safety issues. Some items are fitted for safety and must not be removed. Door closers fitted for fire safety, special locks on fire escape doors, window restrictors, vents, smoke detectors and safety signs included. Some items have specified safety standards. Doors must meet fire safety standards and glass must meet current safety regulations. Also any reduction in value of the property and future costs to us are 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. 

For further information on how to obtain permissions, select your council below:

Submit an application

Complete the form below to apply to alter your Lewes district council property.

Start now

We may also require a sketch plan of any alterations, and details of the materials you intend to use. Other information such as Architects plans or brochures from supplying companies will also be helpful.


If permission is granted, you will have to comply with certain conditions. Work must be carried out by someone competent. If you intend to do it yourself you must be sure you have the ability and knowledge.

Gas and electrical work must only be undertaken by qualified trades’ people. We require certificates for this work

The work must only be carried out during certain hours in order not to cause a noise nuisance to neighbours. Any works requiring planning, building regulation or Party Wall permission must comply with the terms of the permission


If you are a council tenant and your tenancy is ending, usually because you are moving, you may be able to get compensation for improvements. If alterations have already happened, without our prior knowledge, you may still make a claim. 

Keep original receipts or invoices to help your claim. When considering whether to reimburse we consider several factors.     

  • how long ago the work was done   
  • the condition of the improvement when you claim
  • whether you received a grant for the improvements

  • whether you owe us any money through rent arrears

  • whether the cost or the quality, is higher than if we’d have done the work

  • the value of any improvement will go down as it gets older and the more you use it. A maximum of £3,000 is available for any one improvement.

No compensation may be granted if the amount is below £50. In some circumstances we may refuse permission. If this happens we may also ask you reinstate the property to its original condition. 

Eastbourne Homes tenants and leaseholders must get permission to adapt their properties. The quickest and easiest way to request permission is by using our online form below.

Start now

Once you have submitted your request online, we will send a completed version of your permission form with the terms and conditions document. This is because we need to have your signature. Or, download the application form below and return back to us.