Tenancy Information

Home improvements and adaptations

Adapting your home to your needs

We are committed to supporting our older tenants and those with a disability to enable them to continue living in their home wherever possible.

Where major adaptations are needed, we work closely with other professionals such as Occupational Therapist from local hospitals. Call Care Direct on 0345 1551 007 or email csc.caredirect@devon.gov.uk to speak to them about having a social care needs assessment.

Most home alteration work is completed by our in-house maintenance team. Any minor adaptations will be free of charge to our tenants, including:

  • Handrails
  • Outside handrails by steps or on sloped access
  • Lever taps
  • Door frame protectors for wheelchair users
  • Raising electrical sockets to waist height
  • Outside lighting near entrance doors for tenants with sight difficulties
  • Highlighted external step edges

For larger or complex adaptations you will need to ask your Occupational Therapist to help you apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) from your local council.

If you live in a family home and you are under-occupying we may not grant permission for adaptations if your needs can be met by transferring to another more suitable property.

Improving and decorating your home

You may make improvements or alterations to your home provided your tenancy agreement allows this to take place and that you obtain our written consent before you carry out any work.

The types of improvements for which you need to get permission include:

  • Any addition to or change in Cornerstone’s fixtures and fittings such as kitchen units, sinks, baths and showers
  • Changes in the provision of services in your home such as changing the position of gas, electrical or water supplies
  • Structural alterations such as construction of porches and other extensions
  • Knocking down walls, inside or outside your home
  • Installing laminated wood flooring
  • Painting the outside of your property
  • Construction of hardstandings, car ports or garages
  • Landscaping or other major works to your garden including fishponds

We will need confirmation that you have obtained all the necessary permissions for example, planning consent and building regulations, and we will insist on most works of alteration being carried out by a named qualified contractor. We will visit your home once the works are completed to inspect the workmanship.

Some improvements will require you to sign a conditional undertaking which will be added to your tenancy agreement. If we refuse permission, we will give our reasons in writing.

You will be responsible for paying for any additional alteration or improvement that you make to your home. You will also be responsible for the cost of maintaining or repairing any item you have added to your home, and making good any damage caused by this alteration. We accept no liability due to alterations made by you.

We will not take the value of any improvements you make into account when we review your rent. Any permanent alteration becomes the property of Cornerstone by law and cannot be removed when you vacate the accommodation unless you are required to do so by Cornerstone, which we reserve the right to do.

If you would like further information and advice, please contact 01392 273462 or complete our online enquiry form.