Council tenant alterations

If you are a secure council tenant you can carry out improvements and alterations to your home.

You will need our permission to do this and you must not begin work until you have received our written permission.

You will need approval before replacing:

  • windows or external doors
  • any electrical circuits (including additional lights or sockets)
  • central heating (this includes boilers, radiators and the rest of the system)
  • kitchen units
  • bathroom suites
  • fences

You will also need approval to install:

  • satellite dishes, TV aerials and CB aerials
  • hardstandings or dropped kerbs

We do not allow layout changes within our properties, including the removal or building of walls. We also do not allow conservatories, extensions, porches or loft conversions. We will refuse any applications for these alterations.

Apply for landlord’s permission

To apply for landlord’s permission you need to contact your Housing Officer in writing.

You need to include detailed plans showing:

  • the current layout including the location of all services (gas, plumbing and electrics)
  • the proposed alteration including any changes to services

Drawings need to be on either A4 or A3 and at a recognised scale (1:20, 1:50, or 1:100).

You also need to include:

  • a method statement
  • appropriate levels of insurance for the work and the people carrying it out
  • specification for the works, which includes
    • the type of materials to be used in the construction of the alteration
    • any fixtures required by the work (for example a boiler or fuse board)
    • any fittings required by the work (for example lights or smoke detectors)      
    • finishes to new walls or ceilings
    • any notching or chases for heating or electricity
    • how the designs of windows and doors will meet fire safety standards and any ventilation required

You are responsible for any costs associated with the application and these are non-refundable, even if we do not approve your application.

Once we receive your application, we might need to send a building surveyor to inspect your property before giving consent for the work to go ahead.

If we grant landlord’s permission, you need to:

  • check you have planning permission or building control approval if the works need them
  • use qualified tradespeople to carry out the work
  • let us know when the work is completed so we can inspect and issue a completion certificate

We can refuse permission if the work:

  • is dangerous
  • reduces the value of the property
  • would negatively affect other residents

If you carry out works without written permission, we may tell you to put your home back to the way it was. If you refuse, we may carry out the work and charge you the cost.

If we refuse permission you can make an appeal to us in writing. Details of this will be within the refusal letter we send you.

Contact information

Housing Management Service
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG