If you wish to make improvements or changes to your home at your own cost, then you will need to complete our Resident Improvement Application Form.
You will need written permission from us before you carry out any works. If this is not obtained:
- You could be held liable for the costs of returning the property to its original condition.
- You may also find yourself being liable if a visitor sustains an injury resulting from any unauthorised works carried out.
We recommend you check the following information before carrying out any work to your home.
CCTV At Your Home
There are many CCTV systems available on the market for domestic use, including cameras fitted to doorbells.
Before you purchase any surveillance system please consider other less expensive, less intrusive methods, such as improved lighting, better locks and alarm systems.
If you are considering the use of CCTV due to anti-social behaviour or harassment, please contact the Tenancy team for advice and guidance. There is also professional help available to you from the Police or your Local Authority.
Approval is not required for CCTV, unless the structure of the building is to be affected i.e. drilling to attach the item. If the item is to be stuck to the building, it does not require approval. However, if removing the item would cause a structural issue, please request consent.
In all other cases, as a condition of your tenancy, it is essential that you receive written permission from us before making improvements to your home. Failure to comply with these tenancy conditions may be treated as a breach of your obligations under your tenancy agreement.
Requests must be made in writing, using the Resident Improvement Application Form and returned to the Tenancy Team.
Please be aware that if approved, CCTV equipment can only be installed on your property. You must not fit cameras elsewhere such as to fencing, public buildings, trees or street lighting columns, as the equipment may be removed.
Private Domestic Use
If you are using surveillance to cover the boundary of your own property, including your garden, and are not capturing images (or audio) beyond this area, data protection laws will not apply to you. This is classified as ‘private domestic use’ by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office).
Depending on the type and location of the property you live in, it may not be possible to meet these conditions and in these circumstances, applications for surveillance installations will not be approved. If you do have concerns about the security of your home or block, please report these to the Tenancy team.
You should always consider the most privacy-friendly way to set up a surveillance system and we will have, in most cases, no objection to you installing equipment which meets the criteria for private domestic use.
Capturing Images of People Outside Your Own Home and Garden, Including Audio
If your CCTV captures images (or audio) beyond the boundary of your home, your use of the system is subject to current data protection laws.
We must consider the privacy rights of your neighbours and members of the public and will refuse any installation where the positioning of the cameras will result in images of your neighbours’ property, public walkways, communal areas or car parks being captured. (Please refer to the ICO website for more information).
The use of audio is very privacy-intrusive. CCTV with an audio-recording facility is not recommended and the audio function must be disabled, unless the recording does not infringe on the privacy of others.
Door Bell Cameras
Door bell cameras are surveillance systems and permission from Estuary must be obtained as above, if the structure of the property is to be affected approval is required.They cannot be installed on fire doors or frames if the integrity of the door is affected. They can be stuck if removable without damage and then permission is not required. If installation is approved, you must ensure that the equipment is installed professionally and understand where the data recorded on the camera is stored (usually cloud based).
We must consider the privacy rights of others and if the surveillance does not exclude your neighbour’s property or public areas, permission for installation will be refused.
Discuss with Your Neighbours
It is always advisable to speak to your neighbours before installing surveillance cameras advising them of the reasons. Allowing your neighbours to view the footage may provide assurance that their privacy is not affected and avoid complaints being raised in the future.
Although it is no longer necessary to register with the ICO or pay a fee if you are using CCTV at your home, you are responsible for maintaining records and may be required to make this information available to the ICO.
The use of CCTV may be appropriate but in no circumstances should you stream or upload personal identifiable images to social media or the internet
If you break the data protection laws you may be subject to enforcement action by the ICO, which could include a fine. You may also be subject to legal action by the individuals concerned, claiming compensation.
For your own protection and for that of your neighbours and members of the public it is important that you understand your responsibilities and obligations under data protection law when using surveillance equipment. For up to date information and guidance always refer to the ICOs website www.ico.org.uk
Examples Of Work That Would Need Permission
Examples of common alterations/improvements for which permission is needed:
- Removing or fitting built-in cupboards or doors
- Replacement of kitchen units or bathrooms
- Replacement of windows
- Replacement of front or back doors
- Fitting different light switches or fittings
- Adding or moving electrical points
- Building patios or laying decking
- Additional fencing
- Erecting a garden shed or summerhouse
- Installing a satellite dish
- Planting any trees or hedges
- Installing any security such as, but not limited to, Ring doorbells or personal surveillance equipment (CCTV or audio). If these only capture images within the boundary of the private domestic property (including the garden) then the request will be considered.
We will only give permission for equipment that fully complies with the General Data Protection Regulation, the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act and any other relevant legislation.
Please note: this list is not exhaustive and you should always confirm with us if permission is required prior to carrying out any work.
Can All Residents Get Permission To Make Improvements?
- No, not all residents will be given permission. You may wish to check your tenancy agreement. For example, if you have rent arrears, outstanding recharges, or any other breach of tenancy, permission will not be granted.
- Please note that we will not be able to approve installations of surveillance equipment which captures images or audio outside the boundary of your own home and garden. We will refuse any installation where the positioning of the cameras will capture images of neighbouring properties, public or communal areas.
New build properties cannot have any works carried out within the first 12 months while the build is in warranty.
How To Apply
- The best way to do this is by filling out our Resident Improvement Application Form online. Alternatively, call 0300 304 5000 and request that a resident improvement application is sent to you. Please return it with any supporting documentation you may wish to provide by email to email@example.com
- If your application is to install a kitchen or bathroom, we will require 2 quotes and full information of the product to be used with your application.
Please note: If it is not a similar brand to our current planned replacements, it may not be agreed.
Please note: For the length of your tenancy you will be responsible for any repairs relating to the items you have replaced.
Our Commitment to You
- We confirm we will respond within 30 working days in writing with either an approval, rejection or with a surveyor’s appointment to visit your property if necessary.
- Please be aware that when carrying out works to your property, we may also request a post-inspection of the works which will be carried out by one of our surveyors.