Home improvements guidance

Can I carry out improvements to my home?

The short answer is yes.  But if you’re planning on doing any home improvements, you’ll need to get permission from us first. We will also be able to check whether there’s any asbestos in your home and how this may affect your works. We’ve added some helpful information about asbestos at the bottom of this page.

Can I install new flooring?

If you’re considering fitting hard flooring, such as wood or laminate instead of carpet then you’ll need our approval first. This is because not all homes are suitable for hard flooring. We also need to consider whether the changes you are making may result in a noise nuisance that could impact your neighbour.  Hardwood or laminate floors generally do not absorb sound as effectively as fitted carpets can. If a noise nuisance is caused either by poorly fitting flooring or inconsiderate behaviour, then this will be a breach of your Tenancy or Lease.  If your Local Authority receives a complaint, then this may lead to them taking further action.

What about Solar Panels?

You’ll need to get permission from us if you’re thinking about having Solar or Photovoltaic (PV) Panels fitted to your home. We’ll be able to give you advice on the costs and benefits of these panels and how they may affect your energy bills.  If you rent from us, you won’t be able to install Solar Panels. We’ll only allow you to have Panels fitted if:

  • You live in a house that doesn’t have a communal roof and your lease or freehold states that you have full repair responsibilities
  • You have written permission from your mortgage lender
  • We are satisfied that the installation won’t have a negative effect on our investment in the property

We are happy that arrangements for the installation, maintenance and long-term ownership of the panels will not have a damaging effect on the property and/or neighbouring properties

How can I contact you, so I can make some Home Improvements?

You can do this by giving our Customer Service Centre a call on 01403 220440 or you can email us at service.centre@shgroup.org.uk and we’ll be able to help. If the improvement you are making isn’t a minor alteration, we may need this request in writing, but we’ll let you know when you contact us.

Once we've had a chance to review your request, we’ll get in touch to confirm if this has been approved. We will also be able to let you know if we have a record of any asbestos in your property or if an asbestos survey has been carried out in the home, or a neighbouring property.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

If you’re thinking of having work done to your home, we’d suggest checking to ensure that you are meeting all building regulations or planning permissions. Here is a helpful link to the Government website which you may find useful https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval.

If you’re a Shared owner or a Leaseholder, you’ll need to pay a £200 admin fee for any major improvements to your home.  This payment is for a surveyor to visit your home and make sure that the improvements are safe and that they do not cause any risk to you or to the structure of the building.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres that are harmful to people if the asbestos is disturbed. Before the dangers of asbestos were recognised, it was a common building material in the UK, used in insulation, flooring and roofing. Though it is now banned in the UK, many properties built before the year 2000 may contain asbestos.

Asbestos can be found in many areas of construction including cement, textured coatings, floor tiles, textiles, sprayed coatings on walls, beams and columns, lagging, and ceiling or floor cavities. Material containing asbestos isn't likely to pose a health risk as long as it's not damaged or disturbed.