Decorating, improving and adapting your home

We want all tenants to feel at home in their property and encourage them to decorate. But you may need our permission before you decorate, improve or adapt your home.

How to get permission

You can contact your Neighbourhood Co-ordinator to get permission to decorate, improve or adapt your home.

If you live in sheltered housing or an extra care scheme, contact your Scheme Manager to get permission to decorate, improve or adapt your home.

Things you do not need our permission to do

You do not need our permission to do general decorating like painting, putting up wallpaper or laying carpets.

Things you need our permission to do

You need our permission to:

  • lay laminate flooring
  • replace doors
  • replace your kitchen or bathroom
  • alter kitchen units for things like cookers, fridges and freezers
  • install new pipework for cookers
  • fit gas bayonets on gas appliances
  • install a shower
  • change your electric fittings
  • lay artificial turf and other garden coverings
  • put a shed or other outbuilding in your garden
  • install a water meter or smart meter
  • park certain types of vehicle outside your home or build a driveway

If you improve or adapt your home, we may decide to not improve your home as part of our investment programmes. For example, if you replaced your bathroom yourself 2 years ago so you could remove the bath and install a comfort height toilet. Properties in your neighbourhood are now due to get new bathrooms. In this situation, we may decide to not replace your bathroom.

If you decorate, improve or adapt your home without our permission, you have breached your tenancy agreement. We may ask you to return the property to its original condition and charge you for any work we must do, like repairs.

If you move out of a Gentoo property, we may ask you to return the property to its original condition and charge you for any work we must do, like repairs.

What to include when asking for our permission

You must include:

  • details of what you want to do
  • who you plan to get to do the work, this includes if you are doing the work yourself, getting someone you know or paying a tradesperson
  • how long the work will take and when you expect to finish it
  • if you think you will need an asbestos check before starting
  • if you need or already have planning permission from Sunderland City Council

If the works are likely to damage or disturb the fabric of the building, we will arrange an asbestos survey before the work starts.

Things we do not give our permission to do

We never give our permission to do things that:

  • may create health and safety problems
  • do not follow our policies
  • may increase how much it would cost to maintain a property
  • would reduce the value of a property

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • installing gas or electric fires or wood-burning stoves
  • adding decking, hot tubs, ponds, pigeon lofts or chicken coops to garden areas
  • installing garden lights that connect to the main power
  • extending your home for things like conservatories
  • converting or boarding your loft and installing loft ladders
  • adding door or window shutters
  • fitting patio and French doors
  • removing internal walls or partitioning any room
  • painting UPVC doors and windows
  • adding leading to windows
  • fitting pet flaps in external doors
  • adding polystyrene coving or tiles or ceiling cladding
  • artexing any surface
  • installing range cookers
  • installing or replacing glass panel doors
  • painting kitchen units, tiles and bathroom suites
  • converting outhouses and outbuildings
  • removing handrails, balustrades and banisters
  • installing CCTV cameras or spotlights
  • laying laminate flooring in high-rise and upper-floor flats
  • installing a garage, carport or any other lean-to structures
  • replacing or changing external and internal fire doors

Changes to fire doors include:

  • adjusting
  • painting
  • removing or adjusting door closers
  • repairing or changing door locks
  • screwing anything into the door face
  • wedging doors open