Carrying out improvements and alterations to your council home

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As a tenant you have a right to make certain improvements to your home but only with the Council’s advance written permission. We will not refuse permission unless there is a good reason. The right to make improvements applies to secure tenants only, if you are an introductory tenants you must not carry out any alterations or improvements to your home or property.

What are improvements and alterations? 

Improvements and alterations are any changes you make to your home and garden. Before you start making any changes, you will need to make sure you get in contact with Ipswich Borough Council to find out what you need to do to go ahead with the work. You do not need to contact us if you are decorating or laying carpets in your home or planting flowers or plants in your garden. 

What happens if you carry out the work without our permission?

If you do carry our improvements or changes to your property or add any fixtures or fittings without our permission, or are in breach of any planning or building control regulation, we may require you to put back the property to its original condition and you will be responsible for arranging and paying for that. Alternatively we may enter your property to carry our work to reinstate, and/or rectify any damage that may have been caused to the property or the building or adjacent property and charge you the costs of carrying out those works.

Improvements and alterations

You must not begin work until you have received written permission from Tenancy Services. You may also need other permission for example planning or building regulation consents and are responsible for obtaining these. If you are unsure whether you need permission please check with us first. Examples of changes that need our permission are, but not limited to:

  • Flooring (excluding carpets) 
  • Electrical work 
  • Gas work e.g. central heating 
  • Structural work to the property 
  • Plumbing work 
  • Installing a new kitchen or bathroom 
  • Installing a satellite dish, ariels etc 
  • Putting up a shed, porch, fence, conservatory, greenhouse, patio, decking, aviary, pigeon loft, fishpond, pool, or similar structure in your garden 
  • Building a parking space, garage, hard standing or driveway 

Please be aware that you may be required to return the property to its original condition when the tenancy ends.

Right to compensation for improvements

When your tenancy comes to an end you may be entitled to compensation for improvements you have carried out to your property. To ensure that you comply with the requirements to be eligible to claim compensation, please refer to your Tenants’ Handbook for further details of the Right to Compensation.

How to apply

Step 1:  Make an online application via the pink button below, explaining in detail what you want to do. If you need assistance
Step 2:  Await our written approval or details of any conditions to be met to carry out the work. We will respond as quickly as possible but may visit your home before we can give a decision.
Step 3:  Tell us when the work has been completed. We may need to check the work has been carried out satisfactorily.

Apply now

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Housing Services,
3E Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000