Home improvements and alterations
Making home improvements: guidance and support
As a homeowner, you may wish to make improvements or alterations to your home.
Here you can find out whether you're eligible to do so and which improvements might be subject to certain conditions, planning permission and other regulations.
Please note that if your property is within the initial new build warranty period, you must not undertake any home improvements during this time.
If your property is outside the initial new build warranty period, the following improvements do not need our written consent, and we're happy for you to proceed with:
- general re-decoration including painting or boxing-in of pipework
- inserting fitted wardrobes or cabinets
- installing shelves, wall-mounted TV's or curtain poles
- landscape gardening, excluding the erection of outhouses, garages or summer houses, outside taps, lighting or pipework
- replacing carpet flooring
- installing hard flooring if you live in a house, ground floor flat or within a kitchen or bathroom
- replacing interior lights and light fittings (switches and dimmers)
The process explained
If you would like to make any minor or major alterations to your home, you'll need to complete our Home improvement application form.
Before you submit the form, please make sure you check your lease or transfer document as some home improvements are strictly prohibited.
To prevent any delays with your application assessment, please be as detailed as possible about the works you intend to carry out.
If all relevant information has been supplied within your application form, we will let you know if your request has been accepted or declined.
If your application has been approved, we'll let you know about all applicable administration fees which will be payable.
If you're a shared owner and would like to make major alterations to your home, you'll be expected to own a minimum 50% share of the property. You may be expected to staircase (buy more shares) if you own less than 50% and would like to undertake major works to your home.
Depending on the works, a structural surveyors report may be required. We'll let you know if this is required and provide you with details of some firms who will be able to assist you. You will be responsible for contacting the surveyor directly to request the report and will be liable for all associated fees.
Once the structural surveyors report has been completed, the surveyor will send a copy directly to us. We will review the report, along with your lease or transfer documents and will advise you of the outcome.
If approved works require changes to your lease or transfer document, we will request your solicitor's details in order for your lease/transfer to be varied. The solicitors will progress the home improvement case accordingly and a Deed of Variation will be completed to make the necessary amendments to your lease/transfer document.
It's important to know that you will be liable to cover all fees associated with carrying out home improvements, this includes our administration fees, your legal fees as well as any legal fees that we are required to pay, and any required surveyors costs.
Things to consider
You'll need our permission to make improvements if we own the freehold of your home or your home is on an L&Q estate where there are restrictions as to what improvements are acceptable.
We will consider all applications for improvements or alterations affecting the building you live in and the surrounding areas. This includes communal areas, gardens, roof and loft spaces - but we must guarantee that the structure of the building remains safe for all occupants and ensure that any changes made do not adversely affect the rights of other individuals who live in the building or on the estate.
On occasion, there may be a different freeholder who owns the building, estate or land that your home is situated on. In these situations the freeholder's permission is normally required – if it is not L&Q.
For shared ownership houses, you'll need our written permission for certain alterations until you own 100% of the property and become the freeholder.
For freehold houses on L&Q estates, there may be restrictions which do not allow you to undertake major home improvements without our consent.