If you're a council tenant and you want to make changes to your home or garden, you must request permission from your Customer Service Centre. 

You must complete an application form and return it to your housing officer for consideration.  If permission is granted, you can complete the works and then return the contractor declaration form and statement of completion.  You can print these from the publications at the bottom of this page. 

You may wish to install central heating, a new bathroom or kitchen, alter the layout of your home or put up a garden shed.  Please check out if your alterations will need planning permission and a building warrant.

We will not refuse permission without a good reason but we may grant permission with special conditions attached regarding the standard of the work.
It's important to get permission, mainly to ensure the work you're about to undertake is safe and meets building standards.  Also, when you give up your tenancy, you might be due compensation from us for work we have approved (but, if not approved we may ask you to change it back to how it was).

Please don’t carry out any work until you have written permission.

Permission information sheets are available for the following list and can be found in the publications at the bottom of the page.

  • Additional radiators or storage heaters
  • Decking
  • Demolition of larders or any other structure
  • Driveways and hard standings
  • Extra electrical sockets
  • Fencing or walls
  • Garages, sheds and greenhouses
  • Installation of central heating or focal fires
  • Internal alterations
  • Kitchens
  • Laminate flooring or ceramic tiled flooring
  • Loft or Cavity Wall insulation
  • Pigeon lofts, aviaries and kennels
  • Porch
  • Satellite dishes, TV or CB aerials
  • Security works or CCTV
  • Showers or bathrooms
  • Windows or doors

Who can help?

If you wish to know more about requesting permission to make alterations and improvements to your home, you should get in touch with your Local Office. For Building Warrants and Planning Applications please phone 08451 55 11 22.

What is our responsibility?

When we receive your application, providing all information is available, we have 28 days to reply to you either granting or refusing our permission.  During this time we will need to check the details provided, carry out a visit to your home and may also need to take advice from a specialist service.  If further information is required before granting permission we will advise you.  If we fail to contact you within the 28 days you are entitled to carry out your proposed works.

What is your responsibility?

It is your responsibility to check if you require any planning permission or building warrants. Don’t carry out any work to your home without permission.  We have the right to ask you to return the house to the way it was before.  If you refuse to do this, we can re-instate the work and recharge the cost to you.

Right to compensation for improvements

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 “on the termination of a tenancy a tenant may apply to their landlord for compensation for improvement works carried out with the consent of the landlord after 30th September 2002”.

This means, if you have our permission to carry out alterations or improvements to your Council house, you may be entitled to compensation at the end of your tenancy.

What to do when ending your tenancy

When you hand in your termination of tenancy, ask for an “Application for Compensation for Improvement Works” form.  You must complete and return this including the necessary proofs (i.e. letter of consent from Fife Council, receipted invoices, copies of building warrants and planning permission if required) within 21 days of your termination date.  We will check all the details provided, carry out an inspection of the item and reply to your application within 28 days of receipt.

Compensation is only payable for the installation or replacement of the works listed below:

  • Bath or shower
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Sound insulation
  • Double/secondary glazing or other external window replacement
  • Draught proofing of external doors or windows
  • Installation of mechanical ventilation in bathroom or kitchen
  • Insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder
  • Kitchen sink
  • Loft insulation
  • Rewiring and the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fixtures including smoke detectors
  • Security measures other than burglar alarm systems
  • Space or water heating
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Wash hand basin
  • Water closet
  • Work surfaces for food preparation

These items have a notional lifespan and the compensation payable depends on the original price paid, the age of the item and the condition at the end of your tenancy.

Compensation is not payable if:

  • Permission for the work has not been granted by the landlord.
  • You have already been reimbursed for the improvement
  • Your tenancy is ended by court decree
  • The compensation payable is less than £100 or exceeds £4000 for any one improvement
  • The Right to Buy has been exercised
  • You have any outstanding debt to Fife Council, we may deduct this from the compensation amount.

Aids & Adaptations

For adaptations to Council housing properties, Housing Services have a budget through Social Work for adaptations on grounds of disability on receipt of a referral from the Occupational Therapy Service.

For more information on adaptations or to request an assessment by an Occupational Therapist, please get in touch with the Social Work Contact Centre on telephone number 03451 55 15 03

Other Permissions needed

You will also need to request permission (in writing) if you wish to:

  • remove, chop down or destroy any bushes, hedges or trees
  • carry out repairs to vehicles at your Council home
  • keep more than one domestic pet
  • sub-let part of your house, or take in a lodger
  • pass on your tenancy to someone else, or carry out a mutual exchange
  • change your tenancy to a sole or joint tenancy



Housing Information and Advice (lines open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Tel: 03451 55 00 33 Contact Housing Information and Advice (lines open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.) online
By Post: New City House 1 Edgar Street Dunfermline Fife KY12 7EP
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