Improving or altering your council house

If you are a secure tenant of the council you may have the right to make certain improvements or alterations to your home at your own expense.

You must apply and give us full details, and wait for our written permission before you go ahead with any works. This could include things like:

  • changing the type of lights
  • adding electrical points
  • changing the internal doors
  • changing kitchens or bathrooms
  • adding wood burners

We won't be unreasonable when giving permission but we will insist you do the work to a certain standard and may impose other conditions.

We will let you know about any legal requirements you need to take into account. You also need to make anyone you hire aware of the presence of asbestos in the areas you're working on.


You may have the right to receive compensation for qualifying types of improvements (we will pay the compensation at the end of your tenancy).

We work out the amount of compensation using a set formula, which takes account of the loss of value from the original costs - you must retain our written permission and all invoices and receipts to claim this.

Leaving the property

If we give you permission to carry out an improvement - we will confirm if you need to remove it when you leave and return the property to its original conditions or, if you need to leave it in place.

We can remove any alterations you have carried out without our permission - we will charge you for this extra work.


Use the application form to tell us exactly what you are planning and attach plans, photographs or drawings to ensure we fully understand your proposal.

Provide as much information as possible, otherwise we may ask you to provide further details.

Select the local area your council house or flat is in:

If your area isn't listed, you may be a resident of West Northamptonshire.

Last updated 24 January 2024