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Home improvements guide

If you’re planning on doing any home improvements, you’ll need to get permission from us first.

  • Getting permission
  • What you can and cannot do
  • Staying safe

Can I make alterations to my home?

The short answer is yes, but 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.

Before you start any work on your property alterations you must:

  • Contact Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894 or 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.
  • Request consent if required, in writing – you can email, providing full details of the changes you’d like to make.
  • Once we've had a chance to review your request, we’ll get in touch to confirm if this has been approved in writing.
    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.

  • Installing a water meter
  • Installing laminate flooring (except in flats above ground floor)
  • Installing a new kitchen, worktops or kitchen units
  • Installing a new gate
  • Installing an external tap
  • Boarding out loft space
  • Changing internal doors
  • Putting a shower over a bath
  • Fixing a TV satellite dish
  • Fitting a new front door
  • Installing CCTV
  • Adding a garden shed

If the alterations you want to make a structural, we may need to send a building surveyor to inspect your home first. Where the alteration is complex, for example an extension or conservatory, we may charge a fee of £200.

  • Conservatories or extensions
  • Removing internal or external walls
  • Installing an additional bedroom
  • Removing a bedroom
  • Installing patio doors
  • Adding a porch
  • Converting the loft
  • Adding off road parking
  • Replacing a bath with a shower cubicle
  • Adding an electricity supply to an external building
  • Installing new perimeter walls or fencing

Home improvements FAQs

If you’re considering fitting hard flooring, such as wood, ceramic (tiles) 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.

Permission will not usually be granted for the installation of wood, laminate or ceramic flooring if you live in a flat except on medical grounds.

If Torus give you permission to install laminate flooring (whether in a flat or a house) then:

  • You will take it up at Torus request or allow us to take it up if we need to do so to inspect or carry out works to your home.
  • If Torus take the laminate flooring up, Torus will not be responsible for refitting it or making good or replacing it.

If your Local Authority receives a complaint, then this may lead to them taking further action.

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.

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:

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.

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.

Please be sure to ask our permission before you start making any changes to your property and always ensure that you use a qualified contractor for any work you do.

Contact us to find out more     Asbestos Safety