Your Home

Making changes to your home

If you wish to make improvements or changes to your house, you must have a full secure tenancy and permission from us to begin work. 

You will need permission for the following types of work;  

  • Any addition or alteration to fixtures or fittings, such as replacing kitchen units, doors, bathroom suites
  • Any addition or alteration connected with providing services to your home, such as installing additional heating appliances or electrical fittings.
  • Erecting a garage, greenhouse or shed. for example, or carrying out any structural alteration to the property such as removing a wall
  • Constructing hardstanding/caravan parking or erecting a carport
  • Erecting a radio or television aerial or satellite dish
  • External decoration, provision of fencing

Planning consent

Certain types of work require planning approval or Building Regulation approval (or both) before they are started. It is your responsibility to get the necessary approval, draw up any necessary plans and pay any appropriate fees. You may wish to contact the planning department for advice and information about this before deciding whether to proceed.

Any council consent may be subject to you obtaining planning or Building Regulation approval.  Find out what alterations you might need planning permission for.

Recovering your costs

If you have made improvements in your home at any time after 1st April 1994, you may be entitled to compensation when your tenancy ends. 

To apply for compensation you must:

  • Be able to prove that you got our permission to carry out the work
  • Have held a full secure tenancy in the property.

The following table shows the types of improvements that you may be able to claim money back for.  “Notional Life” means the number of years an improvement is expected to last.

Improvement Notional Life
Bath or shower 12
Cavity wall insulation 20
Double glazing or other window 20
Draught proofing of external doors 8
Insulation of pipes or water tank 10
Kitchen sink 10
Loft insulation 20
Rewiring or the provision of power 15
Security measures (excluding burglar alarms) 10
Space or water heating 12
Storage cupboard in bathroom or kitchen 15
Thermostatic radiator valves 7
Toilet 12
Wash hand basin 12
Work surfaces for food preparation 10

How to apply

You will need to complete a compensation for improvement form and return it to us either;

  • within the last 28 days of your tenancy or 
  • within 14 days after your tenancy has ended

To apply you should download the form and send it back to us; City of Lincoln Council, Tenancy Support, City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln, LN1 1DE. 

How much you might receive

You may receive up to £3,000 for any one improvement, but you will not receive payment if the amount is less than £50.

To calculate the amount of compensation you are likely to receive, we use the following formula:

C * ((1-Y)/N)

C = Cost of work 

N = National Life 

Y = Number of complete years since the work was done

The amount you get may be less if the cost of the improvement was excessive or if the quality of the work is significantly higher than it would be had we have carried out the work to our usual standards.

The amount of compensation may also be reduced if the condition of the improvement is poor in relation to its age.

When will we tell you our decision?

We will send you a written decision within 21 days of receiving your completed application form, if you have given all the information we need to assess your claim.

If we accept your claim, we will inform you of the amount of compensation you will receive. You will receive payment within 28 days of the notification of the decision.

If your claim is refused, we will explain why.

You have the right to dispute this decision and you are free to seek information from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or consult a solicitor.

After you apply to make changes

Once your application form has been received, we will impose a set of standard conditions as follows:

  • You must meet the full cost of the proposed work including the cost of any alterations to existing services, fixtures and fittings necessary to enable you to carry out the work
  • The work must be carried out by a competent person. Where necessary, the work must conform to the standards required by Building Regulations and planning consent
  • The work must be carried out to our satisfaction. It must be completed within six months of our permission being granted
  • You will be responsible for any damage to your home or to neighbouring property as a result of the work

You must allow access for us to inspect the work. In addition, we may impose specific conditions on certain types of improvements or alterations.

Once permission has been granted and the work has been carried out you will need to complete a Notification of Completion of Tenants Improvements form.

Apply to make changes to your council house