Leasehold handbook – Alterations and improvements

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under Owning your home - leaseholder - leasehold handbook, Owning your home - leaseholders.

Doing your own alterations and/or improvements

Paint potAs a leaseholder you have the right to improve your home.

However, in line with the terms of your lease you must get written permission from us if you want to carry out improvements or alterations to any part of the property that is Gateshead Council’s responsibility.

You may also need to get planning permission and building regulation approval from Gateshead Council before starting any works.

We do not need to know about minor work such as internal decorating, but we do need to know about any alterations that may affect walls, windows, door frames, plumbing and electrical services.

We will not refuse permission unless we have a good reason.

What sort of alteration/improvements do I need permission for?

  • Any addition or change to the structure or services in your home e.g. removing an internal wall
  • Installation of aerials or satellite dishes
  • Outside decoration to individual elements e.g. windows and doors to your flat, shed door or canopy (the type of paint must be compatible with future paints that we may use and may need to be fire retardant)
  • Replacement of windows and doors to your flat
  • Replacement boiler where there is an internal flue
  • Erection of a boundary fence or wall.

How do I get permission?

Email the Leasehold Services Team or write to Leasehold Services, The Gateshead Housing Company, 2nd Floor, Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1JN.

You will need to provide the following details:

  • What you want to do, including a drawing or a plan
  • Who will be carrying out the works
  • Specification including details of how the work will be carried out.

A building surveyor may need to visit your home too see what you intend to do, before we can make a decision.

We will respond to your request with 10 working days. If we are unable to do so we will inform you of the reason(s) why. If we refuse permission we will give you our reasons in writing.

The permission we give you to go ahead is not the same as planning permission.

You are responsible for getting any necessary planning permission or building regulation approval. We will normally make it a condition that you do this when we grant permission for any works.

If you carry out any work without permission or you go ahead with work after we have refused permission, you will be in breach of the terms of your lease.

We have the right to put things back to how they were and charge you for it.

If you request permission before you carry out the work there will be no charge. However, you will be charged if retrospective permission is required.

Should you sell the property in the future, you are normally required to provide documentation confirming the necessary permissions for any works you have carried out to your property.

It is therefore in your best interests that you have already discussed these with us and the appropriate permissions are in place.

Remember – ask first.

See also