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Compensation for home improvements

If you are a secure tenant you have a right to be compensated for certain types of improvements you have made to your home since 1 April 1994 once your tenancy ends.  Your rights are covered by the Secure Tenants of Local Authorities (Compensation for Improvements) Regulations 1994.

What types of improvements can I claim for?

Compensation applies to the following types of improvements:

  • Bath or shower, wash hand basin and toilet
  • Kitchen sink and work surfaces for preparing food
  • Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen
  • Central heating, hot water boilers and other types of heating
  • Thermostatic radiator valves
  • Pipe, water tank or cylinder insulation
  • Loft and cavity wall insulation
  • Draught-proofing of external doors or windows
  • Double glazing/window replacement/secondary glazing
  • Rewiring/provision of power and lighting or electrical fittings
  • Security measures (excluding burglar alarms).

How much can I claim?

The amount of compensation is worked out using a formula that discounts the original cost of the improvement over the "notional life" of the improvement.  The notional life means the length of time the law says a new installation should be expected to last.

Compensation will be calculated by taking the cost of the improvement divided by the number of years of notional life and multiplied number of years left of that notional life when the tenancy ends.

Bath or shower, wash hand basin and toilet

12 years

Kitchen sink and work surfaces for preparing food

10 years

Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen

10 years

Central Heating, hot water boilers and other types of heating

12 years

Thermostatic radiator valves

7 years

Pipe, water tank or cylinder insulation

10 years

Loft and cavity wall insulation

20 years

Draught-proofing of external doors or windows

8 years

Double glazing/window replacement/secondary glazing

20 years

Rewiring/provision of power and lighting or electrical fittings

15 years

Security measures (excluding burglar alarms)

10 years

Example:

A tenant installs a bath costing £480. The law says a bath should last 12 years. The tenant leaves the property 4 years after the bath was installed, which leaves 8 years of notional life remaining. The cost of the bath spread over 12 years is £480 divided by 12, so £40 per year. The tenant can have compensation for the 8 years of unused 'life'.  £40 x 8 years = £320. So the tenant is entitled to £320 in compensation.

Compensation will be paid where the improvement has been authorised by Colchester Borough Homes to the agreed maximum sum applicable for the improvement.

No compensation can be paid if the formula produces an amount less than £50. The maximum compensation is £3,000. Any grant towards the work is deducted from the cost of the improvement. Any money you owe can be set off against the compensation.

Who can claim compensation?

  • The tenant who made improvements
  • Anyone who became a tenant jointly with the tenant who made improvements
  • A  person succeeding to the tenancy on the death of the tenant who made improvements
  • Assignees who have had the tenancy assigned to them by the tenant who made the improvements and who would have qualified to succeed to the tenancy if the tenant who had made the improvements had died
  • A spouse or former spouse, cohabitee or former cohabitee to whom the tenancy was assigned by the tenant who made the improvements or transferred by a court order following a relationship breakdown.

When should I claim?

You must submit the application for compensation when you notify us of your intention to leave and you have 14 days after the tenancy has ended to make a claim. 

Can I claim compensation if I have bought my council home?

No. You are not entitled to compensation for improvements if you have bought your home under the Right to Buy.

Can I claim compensation if I have been evicted?

No. No compensation can be paid if the secure tenancy is ended by a possession order.

Disputes

Disputes arising under the Secure Tenants Local Authorities (compensation for Improvements) Regulations 1994 can ultimately be determined by the county court.

How to claim

OnlineComplete this form
Emailinfo@cbhomes.org.uk
Phone01206 282514

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