You need a licence for alterations from your landlord, if you want to make significant changes to the structure or layout of the leased commercial property.

To find out how we can help with your licence to alter, contact our commercial property solicitors in Wembley, London on 0203 417 3700 or fill in the form.

No matter where your commercial property is, our solicitors provide legal services regarding the commercial lease and licence to alter throughout England and Wales.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a licence for alterations?
  2. Understanding licence for alterations
  3. Does a licence for alterations need to be registered?
  4. When is a licence to alter required?
  5. Need Legal Advice & Assistance?

What is a licence for alterations?

A licence for alterations is a legal document that grants a tenant the right to make specific modifications or alterations to a leased commercial property. It outlines the conditions and requirements for carrying out the proposed alterations while ensuring that the landlord's interests are protected.

Understanding licence for alterations

Here are some key points to understand about a licence for alterations for a commercial property in the UK:

Permission from the Landlord

A licence for alterations is necessary because tenants typically do not have an automatic right to make changes to the leased premises without the landlord's consent. The licence serves as formal permission from the landlord for the proposed alterations.

Scope of Alterations

The licence should clearly define the scope and nature of the alterations that are permitted. This includes specifying the areas of the property that can be modified, detailing the changes to be made, and sometimes even specifying the materials and finishes to be used.

Consent Requirements

The licence should specify the requirements for obtaining the landlord's consent. It may outline the information that the tenant needs to provide, such as plans, drawings, or specifications of the proposed alterations, in order to obtain consent.

Compliance with Regulations

The licence should require the tenant to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and permits related to the proposed alterations. This may involve obtaining planning permission, building regulation approval, or complying with health and safety requirements.

Professional Advice

The licence may require the tenant to seek professional advice, such as from architects, engineers, or surveyors, to ensure that the proposed alterations are technically feasible, comply with regulations, and do not adversely affect the building or its occupants.

Restoration and Reinstatement

The licence may stipulate that the tenant is responsible for restoring the property to its original condition at the end of the lease term or at the termination of the tenancy. This may include removing any alterations or reinstating the premises to its previous state.

Insurance and Indemnification

The licence may require the tenant to maintain appropriate insurance coverage for the alterations and indemnify the landlord against any claims, damages, or losses arising from the alterations.

Timeframe and Completion

The licence may set out a timeframe for completing the alterations and specify any deadlines or milestones that need to be met.

Inspections and Approvals

The licence may grant the landlord the right to inspect the progress of the work and require the tenant to provide evidence of necessary approvals, certifications, or inspections obtained during the alteration process.

Does a licence for alterations need to be registered?

In certain cases, particularly when the alterations involve significant changes to the structure or layout of the property, a Deed of Variation may be necessary.

While a Licence for Alterations typically does not require registration, a Deed of Variation may need to be registered with the Land Registry in certain circumstances. The decision to register the Deed of Variation would depend on factors such as the nature of the alterations, the specific requirements of the Land Registry, and any legal or practical considerations involved.

Given the complexity and potential legal implications of a Deed of Variation, it is advisable to consult with our highly experienced commercial property solicitor. We can guide whether registration is necessary in your specific situation and assist in preparing & executing the Deed of Variation (if required).

When is a licence to alter required?

A licence to alter is generally necessary when the proposed alterations involve structural changes or significant modifications to the leased premises. This includes modifications such as removing or adding walls, changing the layout, installing new fixtures, or making changes that affect the building's overall structure.

The lease agreement may explicitly require the tenant to obtain a licence to alter from the landlord before making any alterations to the leased premises. It is essential to carefully review the terms of the lease to determine if this requirement exists.

Even if the lease agreement does not explicitly require a licence to alter, the landlord's consent is generally needed for any alterations that go beyond minor cosmetic changes. It is advisable to obtain written consent from the landlord to ensure clarity and avoid any disputes in the future.

The specific circumstances where a licence to alter is required may vary depending on the terms of the lease agreement, the nature of the proposed alterations, and any local regulations or building control requirements.

Consulting with solicitors experienced in commercial property law is recommended to determine the specific requirements for obtaining a licence to alter in your particular situation.

If you need professional advice or assistance with the licence for alteration, please contact commercial property solicitors in London on 0203 417 3700.

Do you need legal advice or assistance with a commercial property lease? Our expert property solicitors are ready to help you. We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

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