Tenants Right to Make Improvements

Tenants Right to Make Improvements

The Association takes the view that our tenant(s) should be encouraged to improve their homes where that improvement is clearly seen as beneficial. The right to compensation for improvements means that tenant(s) have the right to be compensated for qualifying improvements with compensation payable at the end of the tenancy. A qualifying improvement is one which has received the prior written consent of the Association (this excludes any improvements that are carried out by means of a grant). The amount of compensation payable is based on the costs incurred by the tenant(s), depreciated over time.

A list of predetermined improvements covered by this policy is given below, together with their notional lives. This is not a definitive list, and other improvements may be considered on their merits.

Should a request be received for any other improvements, than those listed, it will be referred to the Association’s Board for approval.

Any tenant(s) who wants to carry out an improvement, must first of all apply to the Association, in writing, detailing the improvements they intend to carry out. The Association’s written approval must be given before any works can begin. It should also be noted that although a proposal for an improvement on the list is acceptable in principal, it may nevertheless be rejected in particular circumstances of the case due to the following:

  • It is too costly
  • It is out of keeping with the rest of the dwelling
  • It will be unduly expensive to maintain
  • It will make the dwelling difficult to let in the future
  • It will be unsuitable for possible future occupants
  • It is one that the Association expects to make within a reasonable time

All requests for qualifying improvements are to be carefully considered on their merits by the Association, and where necessary, a site inspection will be carried out. Generally, any request under this policy, should be approved or rejected, in writing to the tenant(s), within 10 working days following the next available Board meeting.


Tenant(s) must submit 3 estimates from qualified contractors in the relevant field, stating which estimate they wish to accept and why. It is usually the Association’s practice to accept the lowest estimate. Only when the Association has agreed the estimate in writing can the tenant(s) instruct the contractor to start work.

Tenant(s) must advise the Association once the work has been finished so that the Association can visit the property and check that the work has been carried out entirely to it’s satisfaction, and any relevant certificates or guarantees are obtained.

Compensation payments are not payable under this policy until the tenancy comes to an end, and at this time, the value of the improvement would be depreciated according to the age of the improvement.

If the tenant leaves a successor, that successor may be entitled to compensation if they later end the tenancy.

Rent arrears, or other monies due to the Association when the tenancy ends (including any costs the Association may incur by failure of the tenant(s) to abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement when vacating the property), will be off set against any compensation due under the policy.

All claims for compensation under this policy must be received in writing within 1 month of the end of the tenancy.

No compensation will be paid in the following circumstances:

  • The tenant(s) did not get the Association’s written permission and follow the procedures laid down within the policy.
  • The improvement has to be replaced during it’s notional life.
  • The Association obtains a court order for recovery of possession of the property based on breach of the tenant(s) obligations.

Qualifying Improvements

Listed below are qualifying improvements under the Right to Compensation for Improvements with their associated notional life span:

  • Bathroom suite replacement – 12 years
  • Bath replacement (colour to match existing suite) – 12 years
  • Shower over bath – 12 years
  • Provision of toilet – 12 years
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen – 10 years
  • Full kitchen replacement – 10 years
  • Additional kitchen units (to match) – 10 years
  • Provision of kitchen sink – 10 years
  • Work surfaces for food preparation – 10 years
  • Installation of full central heating – 12 years
  • Gas fire (only if appliance being replaced is over 5 years old) – 12 years

For further information contact the Maintenance department.