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Compensation for improvements

Your legal rights

Council tenants have a legal right to compensation for improvements carried out after 1 April 1994. Any application for compensation must be made within 21 days of a tenancy ending.

Tenants who qualify

A qualifying tenant is a person who is, at the time the tenancy comes to an end:

  • the tenant on whose behalf the qualifying work was carried out
  • a tenant of a joint tenancy which existed at the time of the work was carried out
  • the successor to the tenancy on the death of the tenant for whom the work was carried out

A tenant is not eligible for compensation if:

  • they acquired the property on Rent to Loan terms.
  • recovery of possessions is taken by court order
  • compensation has been paid under the discretionary power
  • a transfer of tenancy is granted to the qualifying tenant/joint tenant for the same property
  • the improvement was made before 1 April 1994
  • a claim is not made within 21 days of the tenancy ending.

Qualifying improvements

Only certain improvement work may qualify for compensation. Decorating your home does not qualify for compensation but details of the type of works that do qualify are available on the Scottish Government website.

Claiming compensation

Claims must be made in writing within the period starting 28 days before and ending 21 days after your tenancy comes to an end. No claims will be considered if not made before or after these dates.

We will ask for proof of how much money you spent on the improvement work, so you should try to find any receipts or invoices you paid for the works.

If you carried out the works yourself, you will not be compensated for your own labour. Compensation is only payable towards the cost of an installation itself, so no compensation will be paid towards costs such as:

  • any professional fees such as an architect
  • planning permission and/or building warrant.
  • planning consent under the building regulations.

Contact your local housing office for a claim form that includes all the information you need to make a claim for compensation.

What if I don’t agree with the decision on my claim?

You can ask for your claim to reconsidered within 28 days of the decision being provided to you. 

Page last updated:
15 Aug 2022

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