Making improvements to your home

If you’re a secure tenant, you can carry out certain improvements or alterations to your home as long as you get our written permission. We may need to carry out an inspection before we give you permission.

We’ll need to know:

  • 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
Request permission to make your own alterations

We’ll 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’ll contact you and tell you why there’s a delay.

What will I need before carrying out improvements or alterations?

As well as written permission from Berneslai Homes, you may need building regulations approval or planning permission from Barnsley Council.

You must not start any work until you’ve been given our written permission and received building regulation approval or planning permission. Once you have all relevant permission in writing, you can carry out the works.

Find out if you need planning permission (Barnsley Council website)

Once you’ve finished your works, 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 also take action to put the work right ourselves and recharge the cost to you.

EV charger installation

If you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle there a few things you must consider before installing one on a Berneslai Homes property.

Do you have off street parking?

This is a must for installing an EV charging point. The property must have designated, private off-street parking.

Do you have permission from your landlord?

You’ll need permission from Berneslai Homes to allow a charging point to be installed on a Berneslai Homes property.

Can anyone install a charging point?

No, the installer must be an authorised installer.

It will be their responsibility to contact the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to check that a charging point can be installed on the property’s electrical installation and proof of this will need to be provided to Berneslai Homes.

EV Charging Point

How do I request permission from Berneslai Homes?

You can request permission here:

What happens when I have permission and the charging point is installed?

You’ll need to provide Berneslai Homes with a copy of all installation documents. Information on what is required will be made available upon requesting permission.

Click here for more information on the government’s grant schemes for electric vehicle charging

Frequently asked questions about improvements and alterations

If you’re a secure tenant and you have our written permission and any other necessary permissions from Barnsley Council (see above) you can carry out certain improvements or alterations to your home:

  • Bath or shower
  • Wash hand basin
  • Toilet
  • Kitchen sink
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen
  • Work surfaces for food preparation
  • Water and central heating systems except installation of multi fuel/ log burning stoves
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder
  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Draught proofing of external doors and windows
  • Double glazing or other external window replacement or secondary glazing
  • Rewiring of the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings including smoke detectors
  • Any object which improves the security of the home but excludes burglar alarms

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 us at, write to us at PO Box 627, Barnsley, S70 9FZ or call us on 01226 775227.

You'll be charged if you need to get building regulations approval and planning permission from Barnsley Council.

We may maintain some improvements or 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’ll carry out an annual gas service on gas heating appliances but only after we’ve checked that it’s been installed correctly and meets safety criteria.

We’ll tell you when we give you permission if we’ll continue to repair or maintain your improvement and whether you’ll qualify for compensation if you leave your property.

We can refuse permission if the work would:

  • reduce the value of the property
  • make the property less safe
  • result in additional cost to us
  • remove facilities in the property that we’ve installed to make the property suitable for occupants with specific medical needs
  • not comply with Berneslai Homes Policy, for example multi fuel or log burning stoves

Introductory tenants don’t have a legal right to carry out improvements or alterations until they’re a secure tenant. 

If we refuse your request, you can ask us to review our decision by completing our Customer Feedback Form.

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
  • if we gave you permission to do the work

You must apply for compensation within 14 days of your tenancy ending. To do this, you’ll need to download, complete, and return a Compensation for tenants improvements scheme claim form.