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Making changes and improvements to your council home

Reclaiming improvement costs

You have a right to reclaim the cost of some improvements you've made. You can apply for a refund when your tenancy ends. This is usually when you move house.

You have up to 14 days after your tenancy ends to make a claim.

You will not be able to claim if you are buying your home through the Right to Buy scheme.

You cannot get compensation if you did not get permission for your works. 

Keep receipts for all the work that is carried out. You will need these to claim compensation for improvements.

Improvements you can claim for

  • Bath or shower, wash-hand basin and toilet.
  • Kitchen sink and work surfaces for preparing food.
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen.
  • Central heating, hot water boilers and other types of heating.
  • Thermostatic radiator valves.
  • Pipe, water or cylinder insulation.
  • Loft and cavity wall insulation.
  • Draught-proofing of external doors and windows.
  • Double-glazing or other window replacement or secondary glazing.
  • Rewiring, or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings. This includes smoke detectors.
  • Security measures, excluding burglar alarms.

What compensation covers

If you are claiming the cost of improvements, you can claim for:

  • the cost of materials, not including appliances such as cookers and fridges
  • labour costs (but not your own).

How much you can claim

You can claim for any one improvement if the cost is between £50 and £3,000.

The amount of compensation will depend on:

  • the condition of the improvement when you claim. Older improvements will be worth less
  • whether you got a grant at the time to help with the cost of the improvement. If you did, this will be deducted
  • whether you owe us any rent money.

Find out more

To find out how to apply, contact your area's senior neighbourhood officer: