Compensation for making home improvements

If you make improvements to your home, you might be entitled to compensation when you end your tenancy, as long as you’ve got our written consent before you start the work and the works you carried out are eligible.

What to do

  1. Check with your local council’s planning and building control department to see if you need their approval to carry out the work.
  2. Write to us telling us what you want to do. Enclose three estimates for the work from reputable contractors. If you want to use a specific contractor, give us your reasons for choosing them.
  3. Wait until you get our written consent before you appoint a contractor.

What you need to know about compensation

If you’re entitled to compensation, you get it at the end of your tenancy.

The improvements you have made will go down in value (depreciate) over the years. Your compensation will be based on the value of the work at the time you end your tenancy, not the price you paid to have the work done.

If you owe us any money when you end your tenancy, we will deduct it from any compensation you are entitled to.

An example of how depreciation works

  • Mr and Mrs X install a new bath, wash basin and toilet, for which they pay £1000.
  • We class the life of a bathroom as 12 years, and we work out depreciation based on this. So, £1,000 divided by 12 years’ depreciation is £83.33 per year.
  • Mr and Mrs X end their tenancy eight years after they have the bathroom installed.
  • The bathroom has a remaining life of four years.
  • 4 x £83.33 =£333
  • Mr and Mrs X are entitled to £333 compensation.

Improvements which may be eligible for compensation

  • Bath or shower
  • Wash hand basin
  • Toilet
  • Kitchen sink
  • Storage cupboards in kitchen or bathroom
  • Work surfaces for food preparation
  • Space or water heating
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder
  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Draught proofing of external doors and windows
  • Double glazing, secondary glazing or replacing other external windows
  • Rewiring, providing power and lighting, or other electrical fittings

Improvements which are not eligible for compensation

  • Redecorating
  • Internal furnishings
  • Improvements to gardens or other outdoor areas
  • Outdoor storage facilities
  • Drives and pathways

Want to know more? Contact your Housing Officer who will be happy to go through it all with you.