As a homeowner, you may want to carry out alterations and improvements to your home. You’re free to decorate and make cosmetic improvements to your home. This includes plastering, painting, putting up shelves, replacing kitchen cupboards and getting new appliances. However, under the terms of your lease you must apply for SARH’s consent before commencing any other types of work.
Some examples of the types of work that requires SARH’s consent are, but not limited to:
- Installing new windows (lease permitting)
- Replacing a boiler or central heating system
- Changing the existing internal layout
- Removing walls or creating a new opening
- Building an extension
- Structural changes or work to the outside of your home
- Anything that affects your water, gas or electric supplies
- Reconfiguring your kitchen or bathroom
- Fitting laminate, wood or tiled flooring
If you are requesting electrical work then it must be carried out by a minimum Part P approved contractor, registered with NICEIC / ELECSA. A certificate of install, issued on completion of the works, plus a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate must be sent to us within 28 days of completion. All works must be carried out in accordance with BS7671 IET Wiring Regulations
If you are requesting gas works then it must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered installer and you will need to provide details of their qualifications and relevant certification of the works once completed.
In order to obtain SARH’s consent to carry out works to your property, you will first need to complete the application form and provide us with any supporting documentation necessary. Please ensure that the contractor’s registration details are provided as we cannot grant permission without these details.
The quickest way to apply is via our online application form for property alteration.
Once we have received your application and supporting documents we will consider your request. Please allow 8 weeks for a response. It will be passed to our surveying team to review. For certain requests we will make an instant decision, for others we may need to undertake an inspection. Should an inspection or further documents be requested this could increase the length of time it will take to provide you with consent to start works. There are fees for surveyor inspections, and we will advise you of how much these are if required.
We may not unreasonably refuse permission, however, this does depend on the terms of your lease.
If you have carried out alterations to your property without first gaining SARH’s Consent, you will need to make a retrospective request for the alteration/s. Please complete the online application and specify that this is a retrospective request.
If you do not obtain all relevant permissions, you may be in breach of lease and we will take action against you.
Other permissions you may need to apply for
As well as SARH’s Consent, you may also need to get planning permission from the local planning authority. You may also need approval from Building Control, including a Building Notice.
Before applying for SARH’s Consent, we recommend you contact your local council’s Planning Department and their Building Control.
Extensions, conservatories and lofts
If you want to build an extension, put up a conservatory or convert a loft space, you need to check that you own the space you want to alter. For example, if the garden is shared, you will not be allowed to build an extension over it. The loft is not usually included in the ownership of an individual flat, even if it seems that only you have access to it.
- You must obtain our written permission before you carry out any Alteration at the Property; we will not unreasonably refuse permission.
- We will write to you confirming whether we consent to your request. If we refuse permission, we will give reasons.
- Where we give permission, it will be subject to the conditions in this document, and we may impose additional conditions. We may inspect the progress of the work.
- If you carry out an alteration without our permission or upon completion the conditions have not been complied with, we can require you to take remedial action or can require you to return the Property to the condition it was in immediately prior to the commencement of the work, making good any damage. Where Building Regulations have not been complied with or any planning permission required has not been obtained or not complied with this will amount to a breach of these conditions.
- Once the Alteration has been completed, you must notify the Association so that we may arrange an inspection should we decide to do so.
- You must make good any damage caused in the course of any Alteration.
- You are responsible for consulting with neighbours before starting work if they are likely to be affected by noise, disturbance or any other aspect of the Alteration. You must in any event ensure that all work is carried in a manner that does not unreasonably affect anyone in the locality.
- Work must be completed within 12 months of the Association granting permission or such other timescale as we may impose, after which time a new request for permission must be submitted.
- You agree to be responsible for all future repair and maintenance of any Alteration.
- You must meet the full cost of any Alteration including the cost of any modifications or alterations to existing services, fixtures and fittings necessary to enable you to carry out the work.
- We are not responsible for any costs, fees, or other expense you may incur in connection with the Alteration.
- You must not do anything that breaches a covenant contained within any transfer or loan documents relating to your property and you must indemnify the Association in respect of any claim made against the Association and any damages or losses incurred by the Association as a result of such breach. Where covenants apply, we will take reasonable steps to bring these to your attention.
Workmanship & Materials
- You are responsible for managing the work, contractor, and method of construction.
- All work shall be carried out by a competent person to the complete satisfaction of the Association.
- Materials used must comply with all applicable British Standards and building regulations and we may require you to submit material samples to us for approval. Where requested, samples shall be provided to the Association free of charge.
- You are responsible for any personal injury or death caused by your Alteration or in the course of carrying out the Alteration. We recommend that you check you are appropriately insured.
- The Association will not insure your Alterations.
- The Association does not accept responsibly for the design of any Alteration you make. The Association may provide you with guidance, however it is your responsibility to make sure the Alteration is fit for purpose.
- The Association may require you to submit a detailed design for approval. This may include, but is not limited to drawings, plans, details, specifications. Where a design has been submitted and agreed, you may not deviate from the design without gaining further permission.
If we wish to inspect an Alteration either before, during or after completion, you must provide access for this.
You may not make any Alteration to an internal or external communal space and your alteration must not interfere with any communal space.
Housing Health & Safety Rating System
You may not undertake any Alteration that directly or indirectly causes a Category 1 hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005.
The Building Regulations 2010 (as may be superseded) set the standards for construction in England. Alterations to your home may be controlled by the Building Regulations. You are responsible for complying with the relevant standards and giving any notices that are required. The Planning Portal gives guidance on the Building Regulations.
For Alterations that require planning consent, you are responsible for obtaining planning consent, drawing up any necessary plans and payment of any fees.
If it is unclear whether or not planning consent is required for a particular Alteration, the Association may require you to submit a planning application in any event.
Your local Council Planning Department can offer you further advice on planning permission.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. You are responsible for complying with the Act and satisfying the Association that you have done so.
Where applicable, the Association may require you to commission a party wall condition survey prior to works commencing.
If we hold existing information about the location of asbestos in your home, we will share this with you. If we do not hold existing information or it is not detailed enough, we may require you to commission an asbestos survey. It is your responsibility to read any asbestos information we give you.
You must not damage, disturb or carry out any work on an asbestos containing material.
You must tell the Association immediately if you damage a material that may contain asbestos. If you damage an asbestos containing material as part of carrying out an Alteration, you agree to pay the Association for the cost of dealing with the damage and to indemnify the Association for any consequential loss or damage.
Electrical work must be completed to IET Wiring Regulations 18th Edition standards or such standards or regulations that may supersede these.
Electrical work must be undertaken by an electrician registered with one of the relevant Competent Person Schemes (such as the NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT), or alternatively you must obtain Building Regulation approval. You can check whether an electrician is a member of a Competent Person Scheme at http://www.competentperson.co.uk.
Upon completion, a copy of an installation, or minor works certificate that complies with IET Wiring Regulations 17th Edition standards must be sent to the Association.
For electric showers a separate supply is to be installed with dedicated M.C.B. and protected by R.C.D. The certificate must show the shower size (e.g. 8.5 kw).
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 require any alterations to gas fitting, installations, or pipework to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can check someone is registered with Gas Safe online.
You must ask your engineer to produce a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate upon completion and you must send a copy to the Association within 28 days.
If you are removing a gas fire you must also fit a rain cowl to the chimney if one is not fitted and remove any redundant pipework.
You may not install any flueless or solid fuel space heating appliances.
You must ensure adequate fire stopping is maintained between the Property and any adjoining properties or communal spaces.
If you install a shower you must:
- Install a shower curtain or screen.
- Ensure sufficient tiling or other means of protecting the property from water.
- Ensure adequate ventilation to the bathroom, either an opening window or an extractor fan.
Outside taps must:
- Be fitted with a non-return valve to stop water flowing back up the pipe and contaminating your drinking water supply.
- Have an isolator inside the property so that the tap may be drained down in winter.
- Be suitability lagged/insulated to protect from freezing.
- Comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 or such standards or regulations that may supersede these.
Telecommunications (Virgin Media/BT)
If you live in a house, we will give permission for BT, Virgin Media or similar telecommunications providers to install services.
If you live in a flat, we may need to agree a wayleave with the relevant provider.
TV Aerial/Satellite Dish
You may not install your own satellite dish or aerial where a communal system is installed, such as in a block of flats or a sheltered scheme. Where available you may subscribe to the service for an additional service charge.
You may have a maximum of one satellite dish and one antenna on a house. Satellite dishes and antennas must be less than 90cm when measured in any direction.
Satellite dishes should be sited to the rear of the property where possible and not interfere with neighbouring properties.
You may not install laminate flooring in 1st or 2nd floor flats.
We may require you to lift the flooring so that we can carry out repairs. If we have to lift the flooring for you, you agree to indemnify the Association against any damage. The Association will not relay /refit your flooring.
Loft / Cavity Insulation
Loft insulation must not interfere with the ventilation of the building, specifically, eave vents.
Cavity wall insulation must be BBA approved and you must provide the Association with a copy of a CIGA Guarantee (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency).
Windows & Doors
Doors and windows must be installed by a FENSA registered company/individual or you must obtain approval from Building Control. You can check if a company is FENSA registered at http://www.fensa.co.uk.
If you live in a flat and the access to your front door is from an internal communal space the door must be an FD30S fire door and comply with any further regulations or requirements that may apply. You must provide the Association with a copy of the fire door certificate.
You must obtain Building Regulation and/or Planning Permission (as may be applicable) for new door/window openings.
All windows 1st floor and above must be fitted with window restrictors.
You must obtain Building Regulation and/or Planning Permission as required, or otherwise satisfy the Association that it is not required.
The Association will only give permission for a driveway or garage if a suitable pavement access crossing is available or if the local County Council’s Highway Network Management Unit has agreed your application to build a pavement access crossing.
Driveways may only be used for parking cars and no other purpose.
Garages must be in keeping with their surroundings.
Vehicle Access Crossing/Dropped Kerbs
If the crossing is onto a classified road Planning Permission must be obtained.
You must satisfy the Association that the local County Council’s Highway Network Management Unit is willing to approve a Vehicle Access Crossing under the Highways Act 1980.
Greenhouses and sheds must:
- Be erected on a proper foundation.
- Not be erected within 0.5 meters of any other building.
- Not infringe upon adjoining property or be a nuisance to neighbours.
- Not exceed 7m2 in floor area and should be less than 2 meters in height.
- Be kept in good order including the application of paint or preservative.
Gates / Fencing
- You must consult with affected Neighbours before erecting fencing.
- You may not obstruct any rights of way.
- Fencing must follow the boundary line as accurately as possible, unless agreed otherwise. Where appropriate fencing must be level, plumb and square. Fencing must not infringe upon adjoining property or be a nuisance to neighbours.
- Fencing must not exceed 1828mm (6 ft) in height.
- Fencing must be kept in good order including the application of paint or preservative.
- You agree the Association can remove fencing if these conditions are not complied with. If we do this, you will be recharge for the Association doing so.
- Trees may not be planted within 10 meters of any building.
- You must consult with your neighbours before planting a tree. If a dispute arises you agree to reduce or remove the tree(s).
- You may not plant the following trees: Leylandii, Elm, Maple, Sycamore, Oak, Willow, or Poplar.
- You are responsible for any tree that you plant. Your responsibility extends to but is not limited to: any injury it may cause; damage to any property it may cause; and maintenance/trimming/pruning/cutting or similar.
- You agree to commission a qualified arborist to undertake a tree risk assessment at least every 5 years on any tree you plant and to provide a copy to the Association. You agree to carry out any recommendations made.
- If you plant a tree and it is subsequently protected by a Tree Preservation Order, or you live in a conservation area and the tree grows to be 75mm in diameter, you must contact your local Council before carrying out any work on the tree.
You must remove a tree you have planted if it becomes dangerous or diseased, obtaining permission from the local authority if required.