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Home modernisation

As a council tenant with a secure tenancy or a leaseholder, you may want to make improvements, alterations and additions to your home, including putting up satellite dishes. 

To do this you must get written permission from us.

Person laying laminate flooring

What improvements and alterations can I do?

You should check your tenancy agreement or lease to find out when you need our permission to make improvements or alterations to our home and what work you can do.
Typical works which you need permission for include:
  • installing laminate flooring
  • altering the layout of the property
  • refitting kitchens and/or bathrooms
  • installing or renewing central heating
  • adding conservatories and/or sheds
  • altering or adding fencing
  • installing security grilles on front doors and windows
  • installing or changing satellite dishes
  • dropping curbs for vehicle access
  • introducing hard surfacing for car parking
  • rewiring
  • removing chimney breasts.

Alterations you can't make to your council home

Replacing windows

You are not allowed to replace windows in flats and maisonettes. This is our responsibility.

Building extensions

We will not let you extend your property beyond the existing limit.

Installation of aerials or satellite equipment on flats or maisonettes

Most council flats and maisonettes are already able to receive cable television.
You must not erect aerial or satellite equipment to the external communal structure of your block. Some exceptions might be permitted.

Development of roof space, loft areas or basements

We will not give you permission to develop these areas and you should not use them for storage as it could invalidate any building insurance.

External repairs

We have responsibility for the general repairs to the external and communal parts of your block or estate.
If you see a repair that needs doing, you should report it to Repairs Operation Contact Centre on freephone 0800 952 5555 or you can report a repair online.

Applying for permission to do home improvements

Step 1

You should write to us at:
Technical Group – Property Services
London Borough of Newham
Bridge Road Depot
Abbey Road
E15 1LX.
We will reply asking for some standard information which may include:
  • a full description of the type of work
  • scale drawings of existing layout and proposed layout
  • a structural engineer’s report if you want to remove walls etc
If we reject your proposed work, we will write to you to explain the reasons.

Step 2

If we are considering allowing the work we will ask you to give us:
  • a copy of your planning permission
  • copies of your building regulation approval
  • proof that your contents insurance policy includes third party liability
  • details of the contractor who will do the work, and proof of their public liability insurance
  • original copies of the Certification for Gas and electrical contractors
A Gas Safe Registered installer must always carry out gas work
  • a copy of an up-to-date asbestos survey by an HSE-approved contractor
  • a copy of Party Notice
  • written confirmation that you will agree to the terms and conditions of the approval.

Step 3

Once we have received all the documents we need and we have checked your tenancy or lease to make sure that the work does not breach the conditions, we will make a decision and write to you to tell you.
If we grant permission, we may add conditions, such as allowing us to inspect the work.
If we refuse permission to do the work we will write to you to explain the reasons.
Building control or planning approval does NOT mean you have permission to make the alterations. You must NOT start work until you have the written authority from the Technical Group – Property Services.

Asbestos in council homes

If you remove any asbestos from your home, you must use a Health and Safety Executive-approved contractor.
Once the work is done, you must send us a copy of the removal certificate and a consignment note to show that it was disposed of in the correct way. If you had air tests done, you must send us a copy of the results.
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Contact us

  • Technical Group – Property Services
    London Borough of Newham
    Bridge Road Depot
    Abbey Road
    E15 1LX

    020 3373 6396

    Email us