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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.

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 list 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 29 April 2020