Licence To Alter
What is a Licence to Alter?
A licence to alter is required when a leaseholder intends to undertake alterations to their property.
Under the terms of their lease, they will require freeholder’s written and formal consent to their proposed work, with this consent being is in the form of a licence to alter.
Do my works need a licence to alter?
In order to competently answer this question, we would need to review both the construction drawings and review the lease.
Once we had done that, we would then be able to confirm if indeed the proposed construction works would require a licence to alter from the freeholder.
In our experience some of the most typical construction works that require a licence to alter are as follows:
Commonly the removal of chimney breasts, load bearing walls or creating openings within walls.
Commonly changing a frame that has reached the end of its useful life, or replacing the type of glazing
Changes in Floor Coverings
Commonly from carpet (also known as a soft covering) to timber or laminate boards (known as a hard covering)
Adding/Changing Wet Areas
Commonly when an en suite bathroom is added, or a kitchen or bathroom is moved within the property
Generally considered to be a combination of the works, importantly including structural alterations
Generally considered to be a combination of the works, importantly not including structural alterations
How can I get a Licence to Alter?
If you need to obtain a licence to alter you will need to follow these steps.
Who pays for the Licence to Alter costs?
The leaseholder is responsible for the costs in obtaining a licence to alter.
These costs can extend to the freeholder’s review, the freeholder’s Surveyor’s review and finally the freeholder’s solicitor’s costs in preparing the Licence to Alter.
Over the years we have dealt with hundreds of Licences to Alter and have seen costs range from the hundreds of pounds to upward of ten thousand pounds.
Before you proceed with the licence to alter, we would recommend speaking to our experienced team of Chartered Surveyors about the potential costs involved thereby ensuring you are best placed to proceed.
Can the Licence to Alter be refused?
The Landlord and Tenant Acts of 1927 and 1954, confirm that a landlord, also commonly referred to as a freeholder, cannot unreasonably withhold or refuse a licence to alter request.
Therefore, providing the leaseholder meets all of the reasonable freeholder’s requests, they should be able to successfully agree and obtain a licence to alter with their freeholder.
What happens if I don’t get a Licence to Alter and still proceed with the proposed construction works?
Proceeding with construction work without having a licence to alter is a breach of the lease and in extreme circumstances could lead to forfeiture of your lease.
At the very least, you will likely have issues when selling the property as the incoming buyer’s solicitor will flag up the unauthorised works and the requirement for the licence to alter.
In our experience this could stall the sale of your property and could even effect the value.
Licence to Alter Fixed Costs:
Here at Berry Lodge Surveyors we believe Surveying costs should be transparent, fixed and never include any hidden extras.
All of our Licence to Alter costs are fixed and include all of the necessary steps to go from initial freeholder review all the way up to the licence to alter sign off.
Studio Flat Fees from £950 + VAT
1 Bedroom Flat Fees from £1,050 + VAT
2 Bedroom Flat Fees from £1,150 + VAT
3 Bedroom plus Flat Fees from £1,250 + VAT