how to obtain a licence for alteration

In this four-part guide, Icon Surveyors will consider firstly, what a ‘Licence for Alteration’ is? Secondly, when and why one might be legally obliged to obtain a ‘Licence for Alteration’? Thirdly, whether a ‘Licence for Alteration can be refused? And finally, how to acquire a ‘Licence for Alteration’ and what might be included within it?

In Part 4, Icon Surveyors will consider how to obtain a ‘Licence for Alteration’ and what is included within such a licence.

How do I Obtain a ‘Licence for Alteration’?

In the simplest of terms,

The ‘Licence for Alteration’ can be acquired in one of two ways;

1) The first is by way of written consent from the landlord.

2) The second is to make an application to the court.

To obtain a licence or letter of consent is not too difficult a task. This is particularly true if you engage a Party Wall Surveyor or Solicitor to help determine what type of ‘Licence for Alteration’ is required...

The first step is to read the leasehold agreement which will determine what permissions or restrictions are within it and whether or not consent needs to be obtained from the landlord.

The second step is to gather all of the required documents, for example, the plans/drawings, specifications, structural calculations, planning/building permissions and insurances, health and safety statements, schedules and any other information pertaining to the proposed works. These documents should be appended to the request for either written consent and/or a licence pursuant to the leasehold agreement. In our experience, the more information a leaseholder provides during the initial stages, the quicker the process will be.

Once all of the information is provided to the landlord, the landlord will usually appoint a surveyor who will advise on any further documentation that may be required. Thereafter, the surveyor will visit the site to carry out an inspection. The site visit will determine what terms and conditions the surveyor believes need to be incorporated into the licence.

Although each licence is drafted according to the specifics of a proposed project, generally speaking, the terms of the licence will include conditions that require; a schedule of conditions of both the leaseholder’s internal and external parts together with any adjoining owner's property; a review of the plans by an impartial technical engineer; restrictions as to working hours or materials used and perhaps a security deposit for any future damage that may be incurred in connection with the licence or consent.

Further conditions might include, specific protections to be put in place prior to and throughout the duration of the project, production of any and/or all legally required notices, awards, certificates and permissions as and when they are received by the leaseholder, consent to allow the landlord's surveyor access to the site, cleaning of the site throughout the duration and on completion of the project, submission of built-up drawing(s) together with any other completion documents and any reasonable costs incurred drawing up the ‘Licence for Alteration’.

Once the surveyor has determined what conditions should be incorporated into the licence, a solicitor will be instructed on the landlord’s behalf to draft the licence. The licence is then sent to the landlord and leaseholder to be agreed upon and signed.

On receipt of the ‘Licence for Alteration’, the leaseholder is legally entitled to commence with the proposed works.

On completion of the works, the landlord’s surveyor will visit the site to ensure the works were carried out in compliance with the ‘Licence for Alteration’. The surveyor will also inspect the areas from which the schedule of conditions was initially formed to confirm whether or not any damage has been caused in connection with the ‘Licence for Alteration’.

Provided the leaseholder adheres to all of their undertakings pertaining to the ‘Licence for Alteration’ the landlord’s surveyor will sign off the ‘Licence for Alteration’, and return any deposits made by the leaseholder.

Icon Surveyors are happy to provide free consultation on party wall matters to any Leasehold or Freehold owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.

Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.