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Property Surveying Blog
Written by Berry Lodge Surveyors

Often this applies to a premise (residential or commercial) which a tenant (also known as a leaseholder) occupies under a leasehold agreement.

A tenant wishing to make certain changes to the premises will require the legal consent of the landlord (also known as a freeholder).

This consent is offered in the form of a License for Alterations. The License for Alterations is a legal document which protects both your interests and the interests of the landlord.

Depending on the covenant within the lease, it is worth noting that the landlord is not allowed to unreasonably refuse (even though at times they’d like to) to consent to your request so that makes it relatively straight forward to obtain.

What Sort of Changes Require a License for Alternation?

A Licence for Alteration can be required for any sort of change that will alter the structure of the premises.

This can include removing internal walls, installing a new service provider or maybe even installing new walls to create individual offices internally in the property.

Whether or not you need the license for alterations will entirely depend on the nature of the changes that the tenant wishes to make and the terms of the lease under which the property is held.

Are There Changes That Are Likely to Be Refused?

Most leases will restrict changes that will affect the exterior of the property or will drastically alter its structure.

This means that unless you can get the landlord to waive the restriction then you will not be able to make this sort of changes.

Commonly changes to the interior that are non-structural will be permitted with the landlord’s permission. Remember the landlord is not allowed to withhold permission unreasonably.

Very occasionally a lease will not state that a landlord’s permission is required to make changes.  In this case, the tenant is allowed to make any alterations that they wish without penalty.

Ensure That You Comply

A License for Alterations is important to the tenant as it ensures that they comply with the provisions of their lease.

If a tenant seeks to get the License for Alterations retroactively, i.e. after they have already made the changes, then this puts a huge amount of negotiating power in the hand of the landlord. So, the tenant mustn’t overlook this.

Furthermore, if the tenant has made unauthorised alterations and is looking to sell the property on, they may make things extremely difficult when it comes to finding potential purchasers.

Protection for Landlords 

The License For Alterations is also important protection for the landlord as it is will be an accurate record of all works that have been carried out on the property.

This is particularly important if the lease has a reinstatement clause. This clause would mean that the tenant has to restore the property to the condition it was in at the start of the lease. This includes removing any fixtures or fittings that have been added following the start of the lease.

Whilst the works might have been carried out at the tenant’s own cost, then the landlord needs to have a clear understanding of what needs to be removed.

Licence for Alterations don’t have to be an uphill struggle, if you are planning on undertaking construction works to your property, get in touch with us now as we would be happy to assist you.