Get permission to make improvements to your home

Get permission to make improvements to your council home

Find out what improvements you do and don't need to get permission for, and apply for permission to make an improvement.

You’re responsible for decorating and doing DIY to the inside of your council home. 

However, you'll need to get permission before you make any major alterations or improvements.

Improvements you don't need permission for

You don’t need to ask for permission to make small alterations or improvements. These include:

  • internal decorations, painting your front door
  • putting up shelves or curtain rails
  • hanging wall cabinets
  • carpets or vinyl flooring
  • fences up to 1.8 metres at the back of house and 1.2 metres at the front
  • small sheds and greenhouses
  • small porches
  • new internal doors
  • water meters fitted by Bristol Water

Improvements you'll need to get permission for

Let us know if you want to:

  • put in a new driveway
  • install a new bathroom or shower
  • install a new kitchen
  • knock down any walls (internal or external)
  • put in an extension
  • put in a loft conversion
  • change electrical wiring or gas pipes
  • make any alteration that involves replacing external doors, windows, stairs or floors
  • make any large-scale alterations

Depending on the complexity of the request, a Bristol City Council surveyor may need to visit your home to consider the feasibility of your proposal. 

Residents who can't get permission

We don't allow some residents to make improvements that you need permission for. You won't be allowed if:

  • you're an introductory resident
  • you're in arrears
  • you live in a new build property less than 12 months old
  • you're asking to make structural changes to a property less than 10 years old

Improvements that we don't allow

We don't allow some improvements because they reduce the value or safety of a property. We don't allow:

  • Removal of walls in flats
  • Removing bannisters on stairs
  • Replacing fire doors with ordinary doors
  • Ponds without fences
  • Satellite dishes on flats
  • Removing kitchens, heating or bathrooms without replacement
  • Extensions or loft conversions that don't comply with building regulations
  • Open fires, wood or ethanol burning stoves
  • Solar panels

You can only carry out alterations or improvements within the boundaries of your tenancy. So we don't allow:

  • Loft conversions in flats or maisonettes
  • Crossing verges between drives and roads
  • Patio doors onto communal gardens
  • Any work where a neighbour has 'given permission' to use their land

Get permission to make your improvements

Get in touch if you need permission and it's an improvement we allow.

Get permission

We'll close the request if we ask for more information and don't hear from you within 3 months.

Planning permission

If you need planning permission or building regulations approval, you'll also need permission from housing services.

Find out if you need permission