Always check your lease before making alterations to your leasehold property
It is a requirement of most residential leases that a leaseholder cannot carry out alterations to his or her property without first obtaining a Licence For Alteration in writing from the Landlord.
The extent of the alterations that can be done without license is set out in the lease.
Some leases prohibit any or all alterations, whist some require consent for structural alterations only.
Some allow for non structural alterations without the requirement for a Licence for Alteration.
Always read the lease
If you are a leaseholder considering making alterations, make sure you always read the lease before embark on any alterations or modifications, even if they seem trivial.
We would stress the importance of ensuring you have either the right to make alterations or have secured the Freeholder's consent. Although uncommon, the Freeholder could force you to revert the property to its original state at potentially great cost to the Leaseholder.
Leases can be complicated - seek professional advice if unsure
Because many leases are not particularly clear it you would be best advised to seek the help of a Conveyancing Solicitor with proven leasehold experience to check that your interpretation of the lease is correct and to guide you as to what your legal obligations are.
If you have a Share of the Freehold, you are still a bound by the terms of the lease
Remember that owning a share of the freehold does not mean you don’t have to comply with your obligations under the lease.
What to do if you have already made alterations without the Freeholder's permission
If you have already carried out works which are or may be in breach of your lease, you may have difficulty in selling the property as the old lease plan may no longer reflect the new property layout.
In this case a retrospective licence may required. You should speak to a Conveyancing Solicitor before approaching your landlord for a retrospective Licence for Alterations as he or she will be able to advise you as to the best course of action or method of approach.
Example of a Licence for Alteration
An example Licence for Alterations is set out below. This is purely an example for illustration purposes and a specific licence should be drafted depending on the actual lease. This document should not be reproduced without taking legal advice.
THIS DEED dated the …. day of ………………… 200
(1) …………. . of ……………. . ("the Landlord") and
(2) …………………. . of 39 …………. . ("the Tenant")
WITNESSETH as follows:-
1. In this Deed unless the context otherwise requires the following expressions have the meanings specified in this clause:-
(1) "the Lease" means the lease of which short particulars are set out in Part I of the First Schedule hereto
(2) "the Premises" means the premises demised by the Lease and of which short particulars are set out in Part II of the First Schedule hereto
(3) "the Lease Term" means the term of years granted by the Lease and (where the context so admits) includes the period of any holding over or any extension continuance or renewal thereof whether by statute or by common law
(4) "the Landlord" includes the person for the time being entitled to the reversion immediately expectant on the Lease Term
(5) "the Tenant" includes the successors in title and permitted assigns of the Tenant and in the case of an individual shall include personal representatives
(6) "the Planning Acts" includes the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 and the Planning (Consequential Provisions) Act 1990
(7) "the Works" means the works shortly described by way of annexed Plans in Part I of the Second Schedule hereto (together with any works to which the Landlord may consent pursuant to the proviso to paragraph 5 of Part II of the Second Schedule hereto)
(1) In this Deed unless the context otherwise requires words importing the singular number only include the plural number and vice versa and where there are two or more persons included in any of the expressions "the Landlord" and "the Tenant" the covenants agreements and obligations on the part of or with that party shall be deemed to be made by or (as the case may be) with such party jointly and severally and words importing the one gender include all other genders and words importing persons include corporations and vice versa
(2) This Deed is supplemental to "the Lease" which expression includes any renewal thereof or any other instrument supplemental thereof (including this Deed) or which is expressed to be collateral to or which is entered into pursuant to by virtue of or in accordance with the terms thereof
(3) In this Deed covenants given by a party hereto to the Landlord are given by such party for himself and his predecessors and successors in title to the Landlord jointly and its successors in title
(4) The provisions of Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 as amended by the Recorded Delivery Service Act 1962 shall apply to the giving and serving of all notices under or in connection with this Deed
(5) Covenants given by any party hereto to the Landlord not to do any act or thing shall be deemed to include an obligation not to permit or suffer such act or thing to be done and to use his best endeavours to prevent such act or thing being done by a third party
(6) Any reference herein to any statute or section of a statute or to any statutory orders regulations or directions shall include any statutory amendment extension modification or re-enactment thereof for the time being in force and (in the case of any consolidating legislation) any statute or other matter as aforesaid not repealed by such legislation and (in any such case) every instrument order direction regulation bye-law permission licence consent condition scheme and other such matters made in pursuance thereof or under any statute in replacement thereof
(1) The Tenant hereby covenants with the Landlord in accordance with Part II of the Second Schedule hereto and subject to compliance by the Tenant with the conditions contained in Part III of the Second Schedule hereto the Landlord consents to the Tenant carrying out the Works
(2) To the extent that the Works may have been wholly or partly carried out prior to the date hereof the consent contained in Clause 3(1) hereof shall apply thereto but shall be subject to compliance with the remaining provisions of this Deed
(3) The conditions and agreements contained in Part III of the Second Schedule hereto shall apply
(1) This Deed is confined to the matters hereby expressly permitted
(2) Nothing herein contained shall release or in any way affect or lessen the continuing liability of the Tenant or any other party under the covenants and conditions contained in the Lease which shall remain in full force and effect nor shall this Deed be treated as a waiver or release of any antecedent breach of any of the covenants and conditions contained in the Lease
(3) The conditions for re-entry contained in the Lease shall be exercisable also on any breach of any covenant or condition contained herein as well as on the occurrence of any of the events specified in the said conditions
IN WITNESS whereof this deed has been duly executed and is intended to be and is delivered on the date first above written
THE FIRST SCHEDULE
Part I (the Lease)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mansions, London. SW
THE SECOND SCHEDULE
The plan number 1 annexed hereto shows the property in its existing state and Plan numbered 2 annexed hereto shows the works that have been proposed
The Tenant hereby covenants with the Landlord as follows:-
1. To procure that the Works shall be carried out as soon as reasonably possible from the date hereof
2. To procure that the Works to be carried out in a good and workmanlike manner to the reasonable satisfaction of the Landlord
3. To procure that the Works be carried out in a manner which shall not constitute any damage nuisance or annoyance to the Landlord or their tenants or the owners or occupiers of any adjacent premises
4. To provide forthwith particulars of the Works to the insurance office with which the Premises are insured and not to commence the Works until there has been obtained the consent of such insurance office to the Works and to pay on demand as additional rent throughout the Term any sums which the Landlord may expend in additional premiums for the insurance of the Premises or any other property by reason of the Works
5. Not to commence the Works until there has been obtained all permissions and consents for the carrying out of the Works required from all competent authorities (which expression shall include (without limitation) the Local Authority the Local Planning Authority and the local Fire Control Officer) and to procure that the Works shall be carried out in accordance with such permissions and consents with all the bye-laws regulations and requirements of such authorities and with the provisions of the Planning Acts and (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) to procure in particular:-
(1) that any works to the electricity supply or electrical installations which are included in the Works will be carried out only in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down by the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the regulations of the Local Electricity Supply Authority and
(2) that any works to the gas supply or gas installations which are included in the Works will be carried out only in accordance with the requirements of the Local Gas Supply Authority and
(3) that any works to the water supply which are included in the Works will be carried out only in accordance with the requirements of the relevant Water Authority
PROVIDED THAT if any such authority shall require any works additional to or differing from the Works such additional or different works shall be deemed to have been carried out with the Landlord’s consent herein
6. To produce to the Landlord for approval all such permissions and consents and also to produce to the Landlord on demand such other information or evidence as the Landlord or either of them may require in order to satisfy itself that the provisions of this Deed have been complied with
7. At the reasonable request of the Landlord to make application to the relevant planning authority for a determination whether the carrying out of the Works requires permission under the Planning Acts
8. To withdraw any application made to the relevant planning authority for planning permission for the Works on receipt of the Landlord's reasonable request so to do if the decision has not been obtained within twelve months after the date hereof
9. To pay all costs and expenses (including surveyors' fees solicitors' costs disbursements and Value Added Tax thereon) reasonably incurred by the Landlord in connection with the approval and supervision of the Works and any other works referred to in this Schedule
10. To keep the Landlord fully and effectually indemnified from and against all costs expenses claims damages demands actions proceedings and any other liabilities whatsoever whether directly or indirectly in respect of or incidental to the Works and any other works referred to in this Schedule or their execution or retention or any breach or non-observance of the covenants herein contained including all such costs as aforesaid in respect of the injury or death of any person or the damage to any property howsoever arising directly or indirectly out of the Works or other works or their execution or retention as aforesaid
12. To allow the Landlord or its representatives access to the Premises for the purpose of examining the progress of the Works
13. To pay and satisfy any charge levy or tax whatsoever which may be imposed directly or indirectly on the Landlord or the Premises as a result of the Works or any other works referred to in this Schedule or from the grant of the Landlord's consent therefore and fully and effectually to indemnify the Landlord from and against any liability in respect of the same or in respect of any reduction in any available tax loss as a result of the Works or any other works referred to in this Schedule or whether as a result of the loss of exemption from tax or the loss of eligibility for reduced rates of tax or as a result of the grossing-up of tax or otherwise howsoever
14. To notify in writing the Landlord and the insurance office as aforesaid within fourteen days of completion of the Works
15. Notwithstanding any covenant as to insurance on the part of the Landlord in the Lease but subject to paragraph 4 above the Works shall be at the sole risk of the Tenant and until such time as the Landlord's surveyors shall certify in writing that the Works have been completed to their reasonable satisfaction (such certificate for the avoidance of any doubt will not be delayed by the Landlord or the Landlord’s surveyor) the Tenant shall:-
(1) insure or procure the insurance of the Works for the full reinstatement value thereof (including professional fees) against loss and damage by fire lightning explosion storm tempest flood bursting or overflowing of water tanks apparatus or pipes and such other risks including third party and public liability insurance as the Landlord may reasonably require
(2) promptly pay all premiums and on demand to produce to the Landlord the policy or policies of insurance and the receipt for the current premiums and
(3) in the event of damage or destruction forthwith restore and reinstate the Works fully in accordance with the provisions of this Deed and apply all moneys received by virtue of such insurance in so restoring and reinstating the Works and in case the same shall be insufficient for that purpose the Tenant will make up the deficiency out of the Tenant's own money
(conditions applicable to the consent to carry out the Works)
1. All the covenants and conditions contained in the Lease and this Deed shall be applicable to the Works and to the Premises in their altered state in the same manner as the premises originally demised by the Lease
2. The grant and terms of this Deed (including this provision) and the Works shall be disregarded upon any determination of rent payable in respect of the Premises (whether pursuant to any provisions for rent review contained in the Lease or pursuant to a renewal of the Lease by virtue of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 or otherwise) if and to the extent that the same would otherwise reduce the amount of rent which would be payable in respect of the Premises upon such determination but not otherwise
3. The consent of the Landlord and any approval instruction or supervision granted given or carried out hereunder are granted given or carried out without any liability on the part of the Landlord or their surveyors or agents and imply no responsibility for the Works or any other works as aforesaid or for the design or execution of any of them
4. The Works will be undertaken by the Tenant pursuant to an obligation to the Landlord
5. The Tenant shall not be entitled to any compensation in respect of the Works upon quitting the Premises or at any other time
EXECUTED as a DEED by
……………. LIMITED acting by
two directors or a director and secretary:-
EXECUTED as a DEED by
In the presence of