Right to compensation for improvements policy

  1. Introduction

    1. This is the right for members to claim compensation at the end of their tenancies for certain improvements to their home carried out with the written consent of the Co-op. A list of the improvements which will qualify is given below (s. 2.2)
    2. It is unlikely that members in a shared house will be making any of these improvements. Indeed, most of the improvements listed will be carried out by the Co-op to both shared housing and self contained housing as part of responsive or planned maintenance work. However, this is a contractual right that the Housing Corporation expects us to give to our members.
  2. Procedure

    1. No member should make improvements with out getting written permission first. This is a condition of the tenancy, as follows:
      6.4 Right to make improvements The Tenant may make improvements, alterations and additions to the property (including external decoration) and may make additions to, or alterations in, the Co-operative�s installations, fixtures and fittings, provided that the Tenant has first obtained the written consent of the Co-operative and all other necessary approvals, (for example planning permission or building regulations approval). The Co-operative will not unreasonably withhold its consent to a request to make improvements but may make it conditional upon the work being carried out to a specified standard. Failure to comply with the Co-operative�s conditions may be treated as a breach of the Tenant�s obligations under this tenancy.

      In addition, if a member wants to be able to claim compensation for certain improvements when they leave the property, they must follow the procedure outlined below, before and after the work is completed.

    2. A member must receive written permission from the Maintenance Co-ordinator prior to making any improvement. If there is no Maintenance Co-ordinator in post, the matter will be considered by a Committee Meeting or General Meeting. These are the improvements that members can make to their home at their own cost with their associated notional life:
      Improvement Notional life (years)
      Bath or shower 12
      Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen 10
      Work surfaces for food preparation 10
      Thermostatic Radiator Valves 7
      Insulation of pipes, water tank or cylinder 10
      Loft insulation 20
      Cavity wall insulation 20
      Draught proofing of external doors or windows 8
      Double glazing or other external window replacement or secondary glazing 20
      Rewiring or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings (including smoke detectors) 15
      Any object which improves the security of the dwelling house, but excluding burglar alarms 10
    3. The member must submit three estimates from contractors for the work to the Co-op and state the reasons for choosing a particular estimate. Only when the Co-op has agreed the estimate can the member then instruct the contractor to start work. The Maintenance Co-ordinator will agree the estimate in writing, if it is acceptable. If there is no Maintenance Co-ordinator in post, the matter will be considered by a Committee Meeting or General Meeting. Copies of all paperwork must be kept.
    4. When the member is given permission to start the work s/he will be informed of the following:
      1. The final sum will not be the full amount that the member paid to the contractor as depreciation will be deducted.
      2. The compensation will only be paid at the end of the tenancy and the amount agreed will be set against any sums that may be owed to the Co-op by the member.
      3. Where the tenancy is terminated through a possession claim based on the member’s breach of obligation, the member will not be entitled to compensation.
      4. The compensation will be calculated using the formula and guidance given in Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 613, Paragraph 4. (See Appendix 1).
    5. Compensation will only be paid if:
      1. the member follows the procedure above
      2. and meets all the requirements above
      3. and makes a written claim for compensation within the period starting 28 days before and ending 14 days after, the tenancy comes to an end. This claim must contain sufficient information for Ash Co-op to determine the claim.
    6. Payment of compensation must be authorised by a Maintenance Co-ordinator, or, in the absence of a Maintenance Co-ordinator, a Committee or General Meeting.