When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Compensation for damage and redecoration

Getting repairs carried out can be a messy business.  If the interior of your home is damaged by contractors carrying out repair or improvement work you could be entitled to compensation.

Redecoration payments

If you need to redecorate your home because the previous décor was damaged during a repair or improvement, you could apply for a redecoration payment, also called a redecoration allowance.

Applying for a redecoration payment

Contact your housing association if your home was damaged while contractors were working on it to find out if you should get a redecoration payment.

There are set amounts which will be paid out and there are two payment bands; standard rate and higher rate.  The higher rate is there to help people who aren’t physically capable of doing the work themselves and would have to pay someone to do the redecoration.

You will only get the higher rate if

  • you are in financial hardship and
  • it is unreasonable to expect you to carry out the work yourself because you are elderly, have a disability or are vulnerable 
  • there is no-one living with you who could reasonably do the work
  • there is no community-based work scheme in your local area which could do the work for you.

The amounts that can be paid for a redecoration allowance are listed on the Department for Communities' website.  If you’re entitled to the payment, it will be made after all the redecoration work has been completed.  As with all payments to tenants, if you owe rent or a Housing Benefit overpayment your housing association will use the redecoration payment to reduce this debt. 

Claim for compensation

You can use the complaints process if you feel you should be compensated for damage caused during repairs but you don't qualify for a redecoration allowance. If you have been injured or your home has ben seriously damaged during repairs you may be able to claim against your housing association's insurance.  You may need a solicitor to assist you with this claim. 

Compensation for improvements

At the end of your tenancy, your housing association may compensate you for improvements you've carried out in the property.  The minimum amount payable under this scheme is £50 and the maximum is £3000.  Housing associations use a set formula when working out how much compensation a tenant is entitled to under this scheme.  They look at cost and the expected lifespan of the item and at how much of that lifespan is left at the end of your tenancy.  Any financial assistance you received to help with the work will be deducted from the cost of the improvement. 

You'll only be compensated for repairs which your housing association gave permission for and only certain types of improvements will qualify.  You could get compensation for installing certain items, such as

  • a new cast iron or pressed steel bath
  • a new shower or toilet
  • a new kitchen sink
  • bathroom or kitchen storage cupboards
  • space or water heating
  • a thermostatic radiator valve
  • pipe, cylinder, cavity wall or water tank insulation
  • rewiring.

If you qualify for the scheme, compensation will be paid when you move out of the property, unless