that the updated Tenant Alteration and Improvement Policy be approved.
Executive’s approval was sought in relation toan updated Tenant Alteration and Improvement Policy.
The Council owned and managed its housing stock consisting of 5019 properties. All tenants were entitled to make a request for permission for alterations or improvements to their home which the Council would not unreasonably refuse. However, the Council could impose conditions and also give genuine reasons why permission must be refused.
The updated Tenant Alteration and Improvement Policy outlined the Council’s approach in considering requests and that any changes did not have a detrimental effect on the value or let-ability of a property.
Tenants were to make requests in writing and provide sufficient detail for consideration by way of a preferred form. If appropriate, the Council would confirm permission in writing, together with any required conditions. Any permission would be granted for a period of 12 months and if work was not commenced within that time a tenant would need to re-apply. Tenants would need to complete a further form and return to the Council when any works were finished.
In cases of refusal, a tenant would be given an opportunity to challenge the reasons of a decision to refuse permission or the conditions imposed for recharge, or the recharge amount, by way of a formal appeals process.
Appeals would be directed to the Repairs Team and decisions made jointly with the Operational Repairs Manager and the Housing Enforcement Manager. Any further challenge would be dealt with through the Council’s Corporate Complaints procedure.
In some cases, tenants were entitled to compensation for work carried out to their home at their own expense but this would only be available should the tenant leave the property. The policy set out the legislation on this and how compensation would be calculated, taking into account depreciation, wear and tear.
In response to a Member’s queries, the Executive Director of Resources advised the meeting that any compensation monies due where a tenant had passed away would be paid to the tenant’s Estate. In relation to the number of appeals made to date, the Executive Director of Resources would investigate and provide the information to Members.
Moved by Councillor Sandra Peake and seconded by Councillor Deborah Watson
RESOVLED that the updated Tenant Alteration and Improvement Policy be approved.
(Assistant Director of Housing Management & Enforcement)
REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION(S)
It was considered good practice to have a policy which set out the Council’s approach to tenant alterations and improvements.
The policy sat alongside and supplemented the tenancy agreement and ensured that all tenants were aware of their rights and responsibilities but also ensured that officers involved in housing repairs and tenancy management, adopted the same fair but firm approach and took into account of the need to consider equality and proportionality when taking any action.
ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS AND REASONS FOR REJECTION
The updated Policy was considered necessary so that members of the public were aware of the Council’s approach to requests, payment of compensation or recovery of recharges and in what circumstances these would arise.