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Right to compensation

Right to compensation

Secure tenants can apply for compensation for certain improvements they have carried out to their homes since 1 April 1994.

The qualifying period

An application can be made by the tenant within 28 days before or 14 days after the end of the tenancy.

A qualifying person (tenants who may claim compensation) can be:

  • the tenant who made the improvement
  • anyone who became a tenant jointly with the improving tenant
  • a person succeeding to the tenancy on the death of the improving tenant
  • assignees who would have qualified to succeed to the tenancy if the tenant had died
  • a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant to whom the tenancy was assigned or transferred by a court order following a relationship breakdown

The table below shows the qualifying improvement (works the tenant may claim for) and the notional life span in years.

Bath or shower       12
Wash hand basin      12
Toilet  12
Kitchen sink              10
Storage cupboards in bathroom or kitchen   10
Work surfaces for food preparation      10
Space or water heating  12
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 of glazing     20
Rewiring or the provision of power and lighting or other electrical fittings (including smoke detectors)    15
Security measures (excluding burglar alarm systems)  10

The tenant can claim compensation for:

  • the cost of materials (but not appliances such as a cooker or a fridge)
  • labour costs (but not DIY)

The tenant can get up to a total of £3,000 for any one improvement, but will not get any compensation if the cost is below £50. The amount of compensation will depend on the age and condition of the improvement when the claim is made.

Last updated on 11 July 2017