Alterations to your property

Under the terms of your lease you can only carry out alterations or additions to your home if you get written permission from us as the landlord of your property. This is called landlord’s consent.  Depending on the type of alteration you wish to make, you may also need building control and/or planning permission, and your lease may need to be varied by way of a legal process to reflect the changes..  Your lease sets out works that will not be allowed even if you ask for permission, so you should always check your lease first before you think about any alterations or additions.

Internal alterations

You will need to write and let us know what alterations or additions you would like to carry out and submit drawings showing the current layout and the proposed layout after your proposed alterations. You must not start work before we give you permission. If you do, you may need to put your property back into its original condition.

We will consider your request and if necessary, a surveyor may need to visit the property to ensure that your proposals would not have a negative impact on neighbouring properties or the building as a whole. If this is necessary you will need to pay an administration fee.  The surveyor will make an appointment with you. We will also make a charge for the administrative costs involved in considering your request.  These costs vary depending on the nature of the alteration you wish to make and how much administration this involves.

We will only refuse permission in certain cases, for example, for safety reasons or where you want to alter something which is the responsibility of the council.

If we give you landlord’s consent, you will need to make sure you have all of the other permissions that you need, for example, building regulations approval and planning permission. You should also remember that you will be responsible for any maintenance or servicing of anything you do to your home.

Windows

The windows are the council's responsibility as they belong to the council as part of the structure of the building. This means that we will not give permission for you to replace the windows and the frames yourself. If the windows in your block need to be repaired or replaced we will arrange it and you will have to pay your share of the cost of the work for the whole block as part of your service charges.

Where all leaseholders in a block agree, we can change your leases to make the windows your responsibility.

Loft conversions

The loft space remains the property of the council and does not form part of your flat. If you want to carry out a loft conversion, you would need to purchase the loft space and have it added to your lease. Firstly we would need to consider the feasibility involving a surveyor's inspection and report for which you would be required to pay a fee plus other administrative costs. If we give landlord’s consent, we would then need to have the loft space valued and have new plans drawn up. You would need to instruct solicitors and you would need to pay for their costs and our Legal fees.

District heating

If you are on the district heating system and you wish to install individual central heating, written permission is required from home ownership services. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.  The disconnection will be carried out by council appointed contractors. A fee will be payable for this and administration costs. It is important that you appoint a qualified person to install the new system.

Extensions

An extension to your property will change the definition of the property and the block that is described in your lease.  A lease variation and new plans will be needed to add the new structure to your lease.  Once built, the structural parts of the extension will become the council’s responsibility to repair and maintain.  This is in keeping with the requirements for the council to repair and maintain all structural parts of the extension.  Before the variation can proceed we will need to determine if there are other leaseholders in your block as they will need lease variations and new plans to add the structure of your extension to the definition of the block that is defined in their lease.  The rateable value and the insurance rebuild value of your property will be increased to reflect the increased size of your property.  You will be responsible for all costs associated with the process and will need to get all relevant planning and building control permissions.