In your Tenancy Agreement you'll find full details about circumstances where the Council's written consent is needed before you go ahead with any plans.
What do I need permission for?
You will need permission to make any physical alteration or improvement to your Council home or any of its garden ground, for example if you wanted to:
- alter, improve or enlarge your house, boundary fences, walls, and hedges;
- construct a path or driveway;
- add new fittings or fixtures like kitchen or bathroom installations, central heating, fixed heaters, double glazing, and any kind of aerial or satellite dish;
- put up a structure, such as a garage, shed or greenhouse;
- install any form of pine lining and timber cladding. Anyone who is thinking about putting any kind of cladding on walls or ceilings inside a Council house must apply for and get a building warrant before carrying out any work;
- install laminate or any other type of fixed permanent flooring (please see leaflet on laminate flooring [355kb] for more information on the Council's policy on this).
Some proposed alterations also require planning permission and/ or a building warrant in accordance with the Building Regulations. When you end your tenancy, you may be entitled to compensation for your alterations.
As part of improving security in your home you might consider installing a CCTV camera. However, you need to ensure that you are aware of the implications of the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that no-one's human rights or right to privacy is infringed by your CCTV system. As a Council tenant you will also need to seek permission to install a CCTV system as an alteration or adaptation to your home. Full details of this can be found in our CCTV Policy and Procedures [42kb].
If you have a spare room we may agree to you having a lodger. This may be something you want to consider if you are going to be affected by the changes to Housing Benefit from April 2013 which will place restrictions on housing benefits received if the house you rent is larger than you need. Please see our Restrictions Due to Under-Occupation [932kb] leaflet for more information.
If you consider taking in a lodger, please remember:
- Lodgers don't have Scottish Secure Tenancies and the Council may not have an obligation to re-house them if you end their tenancy, unless they otherwise qualify under homeless legislation.
- Any entitlement you have to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Income Support, or any other means tested benefit, will be affected by any income you receive from your lodger.
- Some Council Tax discounts you receive may also be affected by taking in a lodger.
- You will not be granted permission for a lodger if this would lead to overcrowding for your household.
- We must be satisfied that the rent you charge is not excessive.
Under certain circumstances it may be possible to sub-let your home for a temporary, defined period. At the end of that time you have to either go back to living there, or end your tenancy. You will need written permission in advance from your local area housing office before sub-letting your tenancy.
Sub-tenants don't have Scottish Secure Tenancies and we may not have any obligation to re-house them when you return to or end your tenancy, unless they qualify for assistance under homeless legislation.
Having a pet can be a comfort to many people, and the Council is happy for tenants to share their home with a suitable pet, as long as a few reasonable requirements are met and the pet is well looked after. It's also important that your pet doesn't cause a nuisance to your neighbours.
The conditions of having a pet are set out in full in our Pets Policy [51kb]. The standard list of acceptable pets includes a dog, cat, caged bird, rabbit, fish, a small rodent (such as a hamster, gerbil or mouse), or a small non-poisonous reptile or amphibian (such as a terrapin, tortoise or newt).
Normally permission will be granted for a maximum of two pets for household, but consideration will be taken of the size of property, the likely full-grown size of the pet, and the surrounding area. In general permission won't be given for dogs or cats in multi-storey flats or purpose-built sheltered housing units. If you already have a cat or dog when you are moving in to one of these then permission is likely to be given for you to keep the pet with you, but permission won't be granted to replace it when that pet eventually dies. Exceptions can be made for hearing or guide dogs, or where the pet contributes to the wellbeing of the tenant. However, no matter what the circumstances it's important to seek permission ahead of time.
Running a business
Approval to run a business from your home will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The final decision will depend on the type of business you propose, the type of accommodation you are in, and its effect on the neighbourhood you live. Contact your local area housing office to discuss your plans and to seek permission.
If you plan to register as a childminder working from home you must seek the Council's permission first. Where we grant permission for you to do childminding from your home you will need to have a number of checks carried out by the Care Inspectorate. For more details about what is involved, including information about regular pre-registration training courses offered by the Council's Childcare Strategy Team please visit the Childminding as a career option page of this website.
How do I ask for permission?
In general you should:
- Contact your local area housing team setting out what you'd like to do, and ask for permission to go ahead.
- Expect a member of staff to arrange to visit you and assess your request, although this is not always necessary.
- You will usually receive our decision in writing.
- If you've not heard from us within 28 days of contacting us to ask for permission you're entitled - by law - to assume permission has been granted, as long as you have given us all the required information to enable us to make a decision.
- Keep all the correspondence for future reference.
- Remember to reapply for permission (if you still need it) if you transfer to another Council house.
We won't refuse any request without good reason, but sometimes there will be certain conditions you have to agree to meet. If we do refuse permission we will tell you why.
Permission may be withdrawn if at any time the activity we agreed to causes a nuisance or annoys neighbours or other people in the area.