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Cambridge City Council

Cost of living support - grants, vouchers and advice to help you manage the rising cost of living.

Alterations to your leasehold property

As a leaseholder in a council-owned property, you must obtain our permission to carry out certain alterations to your property.

These include (but are not limited to) alterations to the kitchen, bathroom, boiler or heating system, and the removal of internal walls. Outside the property, external doors, windows and garden sheds are also included.

If we grant permission, it will be subject to various conditions such as the work being carried out by a competent tradesman and to the satisfaction of our surveyor should they visit.

If you do not comply with the conditions you might be in breach of your leasehold agreement.

If we refuse your application, we will explain our reasons for doing so.


We aim to respond to applications in full within two weeks. Applications that require a visit can take up to six weeks, and those that require amendments to the lease can take up to six months.


There is a standard administration fee of £30 to cover the cost of processing your application, which you must pay in advance.

There is an additional charge of £25 for retrospective applications, and another of £125 if your alteration requires a surveyor to visit.

Further charges will be incurred if the alteration you request requires an amendment to the leasehold agreement. In this case you will also need to appoint a solicitor to act on your behalf.

If you pay your service charges by direct debit we can add the fee to your next payment. If you pay by invoice, you can make a payment to your service charge account online or phone us to pay over the phone.

Building regulations and planning permission

You might require building regulations approval or planning permission, depending on the nature and extent of the alteration.

You can apply for these permissions first if you wish, but they will have no bearing on our decision to grant permission as your landlord.

We can refuse permission even if planning permission has been granted. 

If you do apply for these permissions, it is your responsibility to supply us with copies of the relevant documents.

Replacement windows

Replacement windows must comply with building regulations, and trickle ventilation must be provided.

The contractor must be approved either by Fensa, Certass or BSI, and registered under the competent person scheme to self-certify.

Leaving the property

In most instances the alteration will be left in the property if you sell it, and responsibility for it will pass to the next leaseholder.

It is your responsibility to pass on any relevant paperwork.

Like the rest of the property, the alteration should be left in good condition.