Permission for own alterations

If you’re a secure tenant then you can carry out improvements or alterations to your home as long as you get our permission.

How do I apply for permission?

You can ask for permission by filling out online Tenants Own Alterations form. 

Improvements and changes include:

  • water meters,
  • installing kitchens and bathrooms,
  • gas or electric fires,
  • showers,
  • new doors and windows,
  • tiling,
  • stair lift,
  • alarms,
  • porches,
  • conservatories,
  • lean-to, walls,
  • loft boarding,
  • fencing,
  • flooring,
  • cavity wall insulation,
  • satellite dish,
  • sheds,
  • kennels,
  • decking,
  • outside taps,
  • ramp,
  • parking areas,
  • driveways or paths.

We also need:

  • Information on the type of improvement or alteration
  • The name of the person or company doing the work
  • A full specification of the materials that will be used
  • When the work will be carried out

We will sometimes carry out an inspection before we give you permission.

What will I need before carrying out improvements / alterations?

Our written consent is essential. You’ll also possibly need Building Regulations’ approval and/or planning permission. You can find out more about planning permission this here.

You can also contact BMBC Building Control on 01226 772678 and BMBC Planning and Transportation on 01226 772000.

When will I find out if I’m successful?

We will aim to give you a decision within 5 working days of us getting all the information required. This may take longer if we need to carry out an inspection. If we can’t make a decision at this time we will contact you and tell you why there is a delay.


What happens after you’ve given me permission?

You must not start any work until you’ve been given our written permission and received Building Regulation Approval or Planning Permission.

Once you’ve received all relevant permission in writing, you can carry out the works. Once you’ve finished you must tell us so we can inspect it. We can instruct you to remove, put back or make any improvement/alteration that we have not approved. We can put the work right ourselves and recharge the cost to you. For further information visit ‘Recharging for repairs’.

We may maintain some improvements/alterations you make to your home. Some of them may remain your responsibility, especially if you’ve installed items with parts that are difficult to obtain. We’ll carry out an annual gas service on gas heating appliances but only after we’ve checked to ensure it has been installed correctly and meets safety criteria. We’ll tell you when we give permission if we’ll maintain your improvement/alteration and if you’ll qualify for compensation if you leave your property.

How much does it cost?

We don’t charge current tenants for obtaining permission but we do charge for retrospective permission for ex-council properties. For more information please contact Berneslai Homes Corporate Administration at, write to us at PO Box 627, Barnsley, S70 9FZ or call us on 01226 775227.

There is a charge to get Building Regulations Approval and Planning Permission. For information on these charges please visit Barnsley Council’s website at


Do you carry out repairs to any improvements I have made?

We may maintain some improvements / alterations you make to your home but others may remain your responsibility, especially if you’ve installed items with parts that are difficult to obtain. We will carry out an annual gas service on gas heating appliances but only after we’ve checked to ensure it has been installed correctly and meets safety criteria.

We will tell you when we give you permission whether:

  • We will continue to repair/maintain your improvement; and
  • If you will qualify for compensation if you leave your property.
Will you refuse permission?

We can refuse permission for the following reasons:

  • The work would reduce the value of the property
  • The work would make the property less safe
  • The work would result in additional cost to us
  • You are removing facilities in the property that we have installed to make the property suitable for occupants with specific medical needs.

If we refuse your request you can ask us to review the decision by completing our online Your Comments Count form

I’m an introductory tenant. Can I do my own improvements/alterations?

Introductory tenants don’t have a legal right to carry out improvements or alterations until they’re a secure tenant. We will in certain circumstances allow Introductory Tenants to carry out improvements or alterations. Should you wish to carry out any improvements/alterations, please fill in our online form or tell us about your request in writing.

Can I get compensation for any improvements I have made?

If you end your tenancy and move out, you may be able to get compensation for certain improvements. This depends on:

  • the type of improvement it is;
  • when the work was carried out;
  • if you have receipts for the work; and
  • if we gave you permission to do the work.

You must apply for compensation within 14 days of your tenancy ending.

You will need to download, complete and return a Compensation for tenants improvements scheme claim form.

How much compensation can I receive for the improvements I’ve made?

We will work out the amount following government guidelines. These are based on the expected/notional life of the improvement, the cost and the actual age of the improvement. If the improvement is older than the expected/notional life, you won’t be able to claim for it.

Qualifying Improvement Notional Life (Years)
Bath or Shower 12
Wash Hand Basin 12
Toilet 12
Kitchen Sink 10
Storage Cupboards in Bathroom or Kitchen 10
Work Surfaces for Food Preparation 10
Water and Central Heating Systems 12
Thermostatic Radiator Valves 7
Insulation of Pipes, Water Tank or Cylinder 10
Loft Insulation 20
Cavity Wall Insulation 20
Draught Proofing of External Doors or Windows 8
Double Glazing or Other External Window Replacement or Secondary Glazing 20
Rewiring of the Provision of Power and Lighting or other Electrical Fittings (including Smoke Detectors)  15
Any object which improves the security of the home, but excluding Burglar Alarms  10