Can You Do A Loft Conversion In A Council House?

Loft conversions have become a popular way to increase living space in homes, especially in densely populated areas where land is scarce. However, for council tenants, the question arises whether they can do a loft conversion in their council house. In this article, we will discuss the feasibility of loft conversions in council houses and the steps involved.

Can You Do A Loft Conversion In A Council House?

Yes, you can do a loft conversion in a council house. Council tenants who wish to carry out a loft conversion must first obtain permission from their local authority. The council will assess the feasibility of the project and determine whether it complies with the building regulations and planning permission requirements.

Before applying for a loft conversion, council tenants should consider several factors. Firstly, they should check whether their lease allows for structural alterations. Some leases may have specific clauses prohibiting alterations or imposing certain restrictions on the types of modifications allowed.

Secondly, tenants should consider the costs involved in a loft conversion. Loft conversions can be expensive, and tenants should ensure that they have sufficient funds to finance the project. It is worth noting that some local authorities may provide grants or financial assistance to tenants who wish to undertake home improvements.

Thirdly, tenants should consider the impact of the loft conversion on the property’s value. A well-executed loft conversion can add significant value to a property, but it is important to consider the potential impact on the council’s rent calculation, as this could increase following the conversion.

How Can You Get A Loft Conversion In A Council House?

Once the tenant has considered the above factors and decided to proceed with a loft conversion, they must obtain permission from their local authority. The council will assess the feasibility of the project, taking into account factors such as the structural integrity of the property, planning permission, and building regulations compliance.

If the council approves the application, the tenant will need to hire a professional contractor to carry out the work. The contractor must comply with building regulations and adhere to the agreed plans and specifications.

If the loft conversion falls under permitted development, you will not need approval from Planning Permission before you proceed with actual work on the site. However, in some cases, you will need approval from your local council as well as Planning Permission before your start works on a loft conversion in your council house.

If you need professional advice, there are some suggestions on the Planning Portal to help you find a trade professional.

How Do You Know If You Need Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion In A Council House?

If the plan for your loft conversion does not meet the below-listed guidelines for permitted development, you will need the approval of Planning Permission:

  • The construction should not exceed the volume allowance of 40 cubic meters of added space for terraced houses, or 50 cubic meters for detached and semi-detached houses.
  • In the case of previous roof space additions, these must be included within this volume allowance. 
  • There should be no dormers or extensions on the roof plane of the principal (front) elevation that faces the road.
  • There should be no extension higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Construction should be carried out with materials similar in appearance to the existing house. There should be glazed side-facing windows for any opening that measures 1.7m above the floor.
  • Roof extensions should be set back at least 20cm from the eaves.


Loft conversions are a great way to increase living space in a property, but for council tenants, it is essential to obtain permission from the local authority. Before applying for a loft conversion, tenants should consider the restrictions in their lease, the costs involved, and the potential impact on the property’s value. If approved, tenants must ensure that they hire a professional contractor and comply with building regulations. By following these steps, council tenants can successfully undertake a loft conversion and create additional living space in their homes.


Can I Do A Loft Conversion In A Council House? – The Stylus

Planning Permission – Loft conversion

Do I need Planning Permission for a Loft Conversion | Drawing and Planning – Planning Permission Consultants and Architects in London