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Improving your home

As a tenant, you must have our permission before starting and making any alterations to your home. If the improvement work involves altering the structure of the building, plans will need to be drawn up by a builder or an architect.

You can request our permission to make improvements or alterations to your home by emailing the details of the improvement works you'd like to carry out to or by writing to:

South Holland District Council
Council Offices
Priory Road
PE11 2XE

Here are a few examples of home improvements that would need our permission:

  • removing an internal wall
  • bricking-up a doorway
  • removing a fireplace
  • replacing the kitchen units
  • replacing the bathroom suite
  • installing a shower
  • installing decking
  • installing a conservatory
  • installing a greenhouse, shed or garage
  • installing a fence, external wall or patio
  • installing an animal enclosure,
  • installing a fishpond, pool or other structure in your garden
  • installing a hard standing and dropped kerb.

Disabled Aids and Adaptations to your home

What are aids and adaptations?  

We can install a range of home aids or adaptations to help you live more independently or improve your standard of living. These include:

Minor adaptions

  • Grab rails usually near a bath or toilet
  • Handrails - to make stairs and steps safer
  • Lever taps - to make it easier to turn taps on and off
  • Alert devices - installing or updating alert devices to improve safety (eg fire alarms, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors)
  • Visibility improvements - changing the type of lighting, upgrading home access, or improving heating or surface finishes.

We aim to complete minor adaptations within 28 days of receiving the necessary referral.

Major adaptions

  • Stair lifts
  • Hoists
  • Level-access showers
  • Complex ramping

Where major adaptations are required, we will consider whether we have other properties that would are more suited to your needs.  On occasion, we may ask you to move rather than adapt your home.

How can I have aids and adaptations installed?

Requests for adaptations such as a stair lift or wet room must be referred to adult social care support from Lincolnshire County Council (opens new tab) (opens new window)or call them on 01522 782155.

Any adaptations will be subject to a financial means test and you may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant or you may be asked to make a contribution toward the cost of the works.  You can assess your finances on our calculator here

What happens next?  

Upon receipt of your Occupational Therapist recommendation:

  • We will send you an application form to complete and return (including a financial means testing form).
  • On receipt of all requested documentation, we will check your grant eligibility and notify you within 14 days whether you have been successful.
  • Successful applications are forwarded to a relevant contractor for a survey to be completed on your home.
  • Plans are submitted for the works and forwarded to our Planning Department if planning permission is required.
  • When plans are agreed, contractors are appointed and dates will be confirmed as to when works can commence.  The timescale for completing the work depends on the complexity, the cost and the availability of contractors.  All works must be completed within 12 months of the approved grant application.  Once installed, we will maintain, repair and service all approved adaptations for you.

Council home improvement programme

Every year we support a program of improvement works to our housing stock to ensure each home meets or exceeds the 'decent homes standard'.

The improvement works we do includes roofing, fitting of new kitchens and bathrooms, central heating renewal, electrical upgrades, external painting of woodwork and general repairs to brickwork and paths. We also support the annual servicing of gas and solid fuel heating appliances and have a five year cycle of electrical checks.

If your property is going to be included in one of our home improvement upgrades, we will tell you in writing. You may also be asked to allow access to your property before work begins so that we can carry out home surveys for measurements and other things to prepare for the work. Anyone who visits your home on behalf of the council will carry an identity card, so if they cannot show you one, you can refuse them access.

Details of home improvement works

Works are prioritised based on the age and condition of the elements of the property. So, it is possible that a neighbour may be included in one of our improvement programmes and your home isn't. We will write to you in advance of any works beginning. If you are still unsure and would like to find out when your home is scheduled for improvement works, please contact us on 01775 761161.

There is no cost* to tenants for these improvement works and doesn't affect the amount of rent paid. However, if a tenant wishes to have a shower installed as part of the bathroom refit, the tenant will need to pay £136.64 as a one-off charge. 

*For leaseholders - communal work such as those carried out as general repairs, the leaseholder will be consulted on the amount required to be paid.

  • A new roof covering is applied and plastic fascias and soffits fitted.
Kitchen refit
  • Take down the ceiling to access pipework and electrics, re-board and plaster
  • Fit new kitchen units and work tops (tenants are offered a choice of colour)
  • Fit white splash back wall tiles with coloured inserts (tenants are offered a choice of insert colour)
  • Lay new flooring (tenants are offered a choice of colour)
  • Decorate the room with wallpaper and paint (tenants are offered a choice of colour)
  • The electrics in your home will also be upgraded at the same time so access will be required to all rooms in the property
Bathroom refit
  • Take down the ceiling to access pipework and electrics, re-board and plaster
  • Fit a new bathroom suite (wet rooms are fitted in bungalows instead of a bath unless there is medical need for a bath)
  • In houses where tenants do not have a shower, a shower point is provided should you wish to incorporate an over bath shower at a later date
  • Existing working showers are checked and refitted and new showers can be fitted for a one-off charge of £136.64. This can be paid in up to four instalments; however half of the amount must be paid before it is fitted
Electrical refit
  • replacement of all electrical fittings such as switches, sockets, light fittings and smoke detectors. Access will be required to all rooms of the property.
Electrical checks
  • Every five years our contractor will carry out an electrical inspection on your property. They will carry out any immediate repairs needed and advise us of any further works that need to be done in the future.
Central heating
  • The majority of this work includes the replacement of gas boilers coming to the end of their useful life. In areas without gas we sometimes install air or ground source heating. All our properties now have full central heating, however if you have a room without heating please contact us 01775 761161
Painting and repairs
  • All external woodwork is painted in order to protect it and rotten wood is cut out and replaced. This contract also includes the cleaning of PVCU fascias and soffits.
General repairs
  • The general repairs contract covers external repairs to brickwork, re pointing of walls and chimneys and the repair or replacement of concrete paths.
Gas service
  • As a landlord, we carry out an annual Gas Safety Check on all gas appliances that we've supplied. A gas safe registered contractor will contact you in order to make an appointment that is convenient for you. You must allow access for this work as stated in your tenancy agreement, as failure to allow access may result in us capping the gas supply.
Solid fuel service
  • Every year we service all solid fuel appliances and sweep any used chimneys to ensure that the appliance is safe and working correctly. Our solid fuel contractor will contact you when your 'service and sweep' is due and make an appointment.

Please note: if you have applied for the Right to Buy, no further improvement works will be carried out.