Making changes to your home

'Home' is so much more than bricks and mortar. Please put your stamp on it. But before you make changes to your home, you'll first need to seek permission from us in writing.


If you're not sure whether you need permission, it's safest to ask us and we'll let you know. We don't charge for permission.

Some examples of the type of works that will need permission include the following:

  • Adding a driveway
  • New kitchen or bathroom
  • New electrical or plumbing installations
  • Major works such as extensions, knocking down walls, changing your home's layout
  • Wall or floor tiling in the bathroom
  • Adding a cat flap
  • Changes to your garden, such as the addition of decking or a shed.


We would always recommend using a good contractor in your home, rather than tackling improvements yourself, unless they’re very minor.

For anything involving professional skills, such as electrics and plumbing, it’s very important that you use a registered contractor and obtain the appropriate certificates for all work. As part of your permission from Red Kite, we will ask to see these once the works are complete. We may also carry out an inspection of the completed works.

There are lots of places to find qualified and recommended tradespeople, such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting website, which can help you find a competent electrical contractor. The Which? Trusted Traders list is also a good resource for all trades.

Include as much information as possible. You'll also have the opportunity to send us pictures or drawings after submitting your application. It's a good idea to do this, as it could speed up the process significantly.

Once we've received your request, one of our Technical Officers will review the details you've provided. We may need to pay you a visit to inspect your home, but we'll make an appointment with you if this is needed.

Following the inspection, we'll get back to you to let you know if we can grant permission. We will aim to get back to you within ten working days.

If permission is given, you will become responsible for any subsequent repairs, maintenance or replacement of the improvement/alteration. At the end of your tenancy, you may be able to claim compensation for certain eligible improvements carried out after receiving the required consent.

The local authority may need you to request building control approval or planning permission for some changes. This is separate from your request for permission from Red Kite. If you have got permission from Red Kite, this is not the same as planning permission.

Local authority planning requirements can sometimes be surprising – for example, did you know that you'll need to seek planning permission for decking installed over 30cm above ground level?

If we grant permission to you to make changes in your home, you will need to confirm when these are complete. You should do this within 14 days of finishing. It’s quick and easy - just use our short Permitted Works Declaration form which takes around 3-4 minutes to complete.

Anything fitted by you, or your own contractors, will be your responsibility to maintain and keep in good working order. It's important that you do this, as sometimes damaged or broken fittings can cause problems elsewhere in your home – for example, a broken light fitting that you have installed could be a fire risk, may cause problems on the ceiling where it is attached or may damage the flooring if it is not fitted correctly and falls from a height.

CCTV includes cameras or any other device that captures images – this includes things like Ring doorbells. These can be an affordable security measure, because they’re easy to install and simple to use. But there are legal requirements that tenants must follow, as well as our expectations as a landlord.

Some of our tenants and leaseholders will feel more secure if they install CCTV in order to deter crime or if they have been experiencing anti-social behaviour. We also recognise that neighbours may find the erection of a CCTV camera on their neighbours’ home a breach of their privacy.

If you’re experiencing anti-social behaviour you can find out more about how to tackle it and how to report it to us.

If you would like to install any form of CCTV, including video doorbells, you must get permission from us before doing so. We will assess whether your CCTV footage will capture images of communal areas or areas outside the boundary of your home. We must balance the privacy rights of other tenants and the general public whose images would be captured.

If you want to have an EV charging point installed, you’ll need to ask for our permission before the installation takes place. We're committed to supporting our tenants to reduce their carbon emissions and make their homes more sustainable, so we’ll grant permission whenever we can.

With the rise in heating fuel costs and further increases expected, requests from our tenants to open up previously closed fireplace openings in existing chimneys are likely to increase. While an open fire seems very appealing, especially if you have access to free or cheap fuel, the opening of chimneys is not permitted in our homes.

This is because:

  • Most of our homes are in smoke control areas, meaning no coal or wood can be burnt, only smokeless fuel
  • Smokeless fuel is 25-35% more expensive when compared to gas, and more expensive than other fuel types such as oil and electric
  • Open fires / log burners only heat one room. A lack of whole-house heating can lead to damp and mould in other rooms.
  • Any chimney opened would need an inspection to ensure that it is safe to use. It would also require regular sweeping. This needs to be undertaken by a qualified contractor. We will not pay for this work.
  • Creating a fireplace for a solid fuel fire or burner has to be undertaken to relevant regulations, this is specialist work and if incorrectly undertaken can be dangerous
  • Burning solid fuel is bad for the environment and sales of house coal and wet wood have been banned since 2021
  • Wood burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and small particles of air pollution which find their way into the body's lungs and blood. This is damaging to health.
  • Emissions are higher from solid fuels than other types of heat such as gas etc.
  • An open fire that does not burn correctly is dangerous, as carbon monoxide is produced for burning solid fuel. Even in small quantities this can be fatal, so it is essential that the correct type of fuel is burnt in the correct way.

The use of open fires, even when burning smokeless fuel, does not support our vision for a sustainable future. As we move towards a sustainable future, we are planning significant investment in upgrading insulation throughout our homes. This will include new doors and windows and will ensure that our homes use less energy and emit less carbon.

To achieve the huge goal of Net Zero Housing stock by 2050, we will be upgrading heating systems using best-in-class technology. This will require significant investigation, tenant engagement and investment. These considerations must be very carefully evaluated prior to any heating upgrade programme being rolled out.

For further information or updates on our sustainability journey please visit our website or social media channels.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the above or are struggling with utility costs please contact or call our contact centre on 01494 476100 and ask to speak to the Wellbeing team.

If your proposed works include the potential disturbance of trees, we may refuse your request as we have a commitment to ensuring the sustainability of our environment, which includes the protection of the trees on our land. Please let us know in your application if you think your proposal may impact a tree or trees.

Laminate flooring is permitted in a ground floor flat but is not allowed in flats above the ground floor.

Please note that any laminate flooring installed in your home will be your responsibility, and if there is a water leak you may need to lift the flooring and then repair any resultant damage yourself.

Before getting a pet of any sort, including a cat, you'll need to get permission from us by completing our Pet Request Form.

If you have a cat, you may wish to install a cat flap on your door. However, it's important that you check with us first so we can establish if the installation would have any negative impacts, such as voiding the warranty of the door.

If you fit a cat flap without our permission, we may ask that the door be repaired or replaced at your cost.

Please note that if we have granted you permission to make any changes in the past and your tenancy is ending, we may request that you remove the changes you have made. If you haven't removed any changes we've requested after you have moved out, any related costs may be recharged to you.