Home improvements in public housing
If you want to make any alterations, additions or other improvements to your home or to engage a private contractor you will need approval from Housing SA. There may be some restrictions on the kind of work you can carry out. Some alterations need approval from your local council.
If you choose to engage a private contractor yourself to have maintenance or repairs completed, this will be done at your own cost. Housing SA cannot reimburse you or pay their bills on your behalf.
You will be responsible for organising and paying for all materials and work carried out, and ensuring that the work meets all necessary legal requirements.
If you or someone in your household needs modifications because of a medical condition, disability or age, these may be carried out by Housing SA free of charge.
You can report regular maintenance issues to Housing SA.
What you can do to your home
Some improvements you can make to your home include:
- pergolas, sheds and carports
- floor coverings and paving
- additional power points and lights
- curtain tracks and shelving
- TV antennas and satellite dishes
- roller shutters, security screens or blinds
- air conditioners and ceiling fans
- installing solar panels.
You can carry out some minor repairs yourself, but don't attempt a repair if:
- it may be dangerous
- you're not qualified to carry it out - eg electrical work.
You are responsible for your own safety when working around the house.
Home repairs and improvements
1. Complete an application form
Complete an Application to undertake additions form .
2. Show location and dimensions
Include documents that show the location and dimensions of the improvement.
3. Lodge your application
Lodge all the documents and your completed application form with Housing SA.
What happens next
Housing SA may contact you to arrange a site inspection to make sure your property is suitable for the improvement. You could also be asked to get any necessary planning approvals - eg from your local council and return this to Housing SA.
Housing SA will send you a letter advising the outcome of your application. You must not start any work until you have received approval from Housing SA.
All work must be:
- carried out within 90 days of Housing SA approving your application
- completed by a qualified professional
- done to a professional standard.
When you move out
Housing SA may give you approval to leave any improvements you have made to the property if:
- they are in good condition
- they meet all legal requirements.
Contact Housing SA before the end of your tenancy to discuss whether you can leave improvements at the property.
You will have to remove the improvements if:
- Housing SA didn't give you approval to leave them at the property
- they are not in good condition
- they don't meet legal requirements - eg they were installed incorrectly, they are unsafe.
You should remove the improvement, and repair any damage their removal has caused - eg filling holes left from shelving units.
If you don't do this, Housing SA can charge you for removing the improvements or repairing the damage.
Install solar panels at a public housing property
If you want to install solar panels at your home you will need to apply for approval from Housing SA. You will be responsible for:
- buying the panels
- organising and paying for installation by a qualified and licensed professional
- paying for any connection costs
- paying for any ongoing maintenance costs
- organising and paying for any insurance on the panels
- removing them and repairing any damage done to the property when you move out.
Don't start to install the panels until you have received final approval from Housing SA.
Before you apply
You may get approval to install a solar panel provided that:
- you aren't on a probationary or short-term lease
- you get approval from your strata group or community corporation to install them if you live in a strata or community titled property
- the roof structure can support the panels
- the roof cladding doesn't contain asbestos
- Housing SA gives you final approval in writing to install them.
How to apply
1. Complete the application form
Complete an application to undertake additions form.
Lodge the form with Housing SA.
2. Attend the site inspection
You will be contacted to organise a suitable time for your property to be inspected. This will determine if your property is suitable for solar panels.
If your property has been found suitable, you will be sent a provisional approval letter and a solar panel deed.
3. Complete the solar panel deed
The solar panel deed sets out the terms and conditions under which the panels will be installed on the property. It is important that:
- you and your contractor read the deed carefully
- you contact Housing SA if you have any questions or if there is anything in the deed you don't understand
- you don't begin any work until you have received written final approval from Housing SA.
The solar panel deed must be signed by:
- the contractor who will be installing the panels
- a witness - eg neighbour, family member.
Once this form has been completed and signed by all parties, lodge it with Housing SA.
4. Final approval
If your application has been successful, Housing SA will send you:
- a final approval letter
- a 'clean energy council installation and commissioning checklist'
- a copy of your completed deed.
Once you have final approval you can have the solar panels installed. You will need to contact SA Power Networks to:
- arrange for the panels to be connected
- organise a meter change.
Once the panels are installed, get your contractor to complete the 'clean energy council installation and commissioning checklist' and lodge this along with a copy of the 'certificate of compliance' with Housing SA.
If you disagree with the outcome of your application you can appeal the decision.
On this site
- Practical advice for selecting a builder, tradesperson or contractor
- Maintenance charges in public housing