Making Changes to Your Own Home

We want your home to feel like your own but you must get our written permission before carrying out certain alterations and improvements.

See our FAQs below, read our more detailed guidance notes or contact the Property team if you have more questions.

What alterations and improvements do I need permission for?

Most alterations and improvements will require permission. Examples of alterations and improvements include:

  • Adding or replacing fixtures or fittings such as kitchen or bathroom fittings, heating or windows
  • Fitting laminate flooring
  • Fitting a satellite dish
  • Making any changes to the electrical system such as adding sockets or replacing a pendant light fitting with spotlights
  • Making any changes to the gas installation
  • Putting up a garage, shed or other external structure
  • Changing the internal layout of the home
  • Decorating the exterior of your property

You do not need our permission to redecorate the interior of your home but you will need permission if you want to use a textured paint on your walls or ceilings (artex) or fit wood panelling or other decorative features to walls.

How do I apply for permission?

Complete our Alterations Form and email to us at or post to our Aberdeen office.

Provide as much information as possible on the alteration you want to carry out. Some alterations will require Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent or Building Warrant Approval in addition to our permission – if you’re not sure what permissions you need please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss your alteration with you.

What happens next?

We will review your application

Your Property Officer will review your application and refer to property information for your property and scheme to determine whether the alteration can be approved or not. When reviewing your application we will check:

  • The asbestos register – if there is confirmed or presumed asbestos in your scheme we may need to carry out an asbestos survey in your home before we can approve the alteration. We will ask you to cover the cost of the survey
  • Existing scheme documents – existing Planning Approvals, Deed of Conditions and Title Deeds will be checked to ensure the alteration doesn’t breach any conditions in these documents.
  • Impact on neighbours – we will check that the alterations don’t impact on other tenants enjoyment of the scheme
  • Impact on the property – we will check that the alteration won’t damage the structural integrity or health and safety of the property

Generally we will try to work with you to approve your alteration but there are some occasions where we will usually not approve applications

  • Alterations in the first year of a new development
  • Satellite dishes where there is a communal system
  • Fencing off areas of communal ground for personal use
  • Laminate flooring in flats above ground floor

Once your Property Officer has carried out a review of your application they will write to you to confirm whether the alteration can go ahead or not. The Property Officer will aim to respond within 28 days of receiving the application.

Standard conditions of approval

When we give permission for an alteration it is on condition that you:

  • Get the work done by a competent person or qualified tradesperson and that it meets health, safety and quality standards
  • Provide electrical and gas safety certificates if work has been carried out to the electricity or gas systems.
  • Take responsibility for loss or damage caused by the work
  • Tell neighbours about the work you are planning, prevent unnecessary noise or nuisance, carry out the work at reasonable times of the day and keep shared areas clean and tidy
  • Tell us when work starts and finishes
  • Allow us access to inspect the completed work
  • Improve any work we find to be substandard
  • Repair / maintain any fittings and fixtures that you install
  • Understand that certain alterations become our property when you end your tenancy and that you may be asked to remove others, making good any damage, or we will recharge you
  • Will be responsible for lifting laminate or wooden flooring if access is required to underfloor pipes or cables to carry out maintenance. You will be responsible for reinstating flooring

What happens if I alter my home without permission

If there is an unauthorised alteration in your home you may be asked to remove the alteration and put the home back to its original condition. If the alteration is a health and safety concern we will carry out the work to remove the alteration and ask you to repay the cost.

If the unauthorised alteration is good quality we may ask you to make a retrospective application for permission

Will I be compensated for improving my home

If you have carried out certain improvements to your home, with our permission, you may be eligible for compensation if you end your tenancy in the future.

The rules for compensation are set out in the Scottish Secure Tenants (Compensation for Improvements) Regulations 2002 and apply to improvements completed after 30 September 2002.

Improvements that are eligible for compensation are:

Bath or shower

Cavity wall insulation

Sound insulation

Double glazing or other window replacement or secondary glazing

Draught proofing or external doors and windows

Insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder

Installation of mechanical ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens

Kitchen sink

Loft insulation

Rewiring and provision of power and lighting or other electrical fixtures including smoke detectors

Security measures other than burglar alarms

Space or water heating

Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen

Thermostatic radiator valves

Wash hand basin


Worktops for food preparation

The compensation amount is calculated based on the age of the improvement, the original cost of the improvement and the condition of the improvement when your tenancy ends. The maximum amount of compensation is £4,000 and the minimum amount is £100.

If you owe us money at the end of your tenancy (for instance for unpaid rent or rechargeable repairs) then this is deducted from any compensation due.

If you are making an alteration to your property that might be eligible for future compensation it is important to keep receipts for the work as this will make a future compensation claim more straightforward.

For more details of the compensation process, see our Compensation for Improvements application form and guidance notes on the right hand side of this page.