Change or add to your public housing home

If you are renting a public housing home and you would like to change or add something to it you must get permission. 

You are encouraged to take pride in your rental home. In most cases applications are approved. 

When you move out

You must return the property to its original condition. 

You must pay to fix alterations or additions that are not of a professional or reasonable standard, or fix any damage caused by the alteration.

This is different from reporting any maintenance or repairs.

When you need approval

Alterations that require approval include all of the following:

  • picture hooks
  • curtains
  • installing carpet
  • lights and security sensors
  • painting - in neutral colours only
  • removing trees
  • paving the garden
  • garden structures such as shade or pet enclosures
  • fences
  • changing locks 
  • security screens
  • electrical or plumbing changes
  • handrails or ramps
  • inflatable or above ground pools or spas
  • modifying the property's structure or condition. 

Air conditioning

Air conditioners are not added to new or existing houses. 

You must pay for all costs of buying and installing a new air conditioner including all of the following:

  • materials
  • wiring and additional circuit breakers
  • ongoing maintenance
  • removal and repair of damage caused when you move out.


Carpet is unsuitable for public housing as it is difficult to clean.

Approval for carpet will only be given if you take the carpet out when you move out. 

Swimming pools

You will not be given permission to install an in-ground pool or spa.

You may be given approval for blow-up, portable and above ground pools or spas that hold more than 30cm of water if it meets swimming pool laws. 

Read more about swimming pool fencing and barrier safety standards.

How to apply

To apply for permission to make an alteration to your public housing rental property, follow these steps: 

Step 1. Fill in the alteration to a rental home form
Alteration to a rental home form (156.4 kb)
Alteration to a rental home form (660.2 kb) 

Step 2. Provide drawings and/or plans of proposed alterations.

Step 3. Provide certification of proposed alterations if necessary. 

Step 4. Submit it to your local housing office

If your request is approved you will be sent written approval including any conditions.

Last updated: 27 June 2017


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