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When it comes to making changes or alterations to a property, there are various legal requirements that must be met. One crucial aspect to consider is obtaining a Licence-To-Alter from the landlord or property manager. This document is essential for ensuring that both the property owner and the tenant are protected and that any alterations made are authorized and compliant with relevant regulations.

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of a Licence-To-Alter, the reasons you might need one, the costs associated with obtaining one, and the consequences of failing to secure the necessary permissions.

What Is a Licence-To-Alter?

A Licence-To-Alter is a formal, legally binding document that grants a tenant permission to make specific alterations or changes to a rented property. This document sets out the terms and conditions of the alterations, including any specific requirements or restrictions. It ensures that the tenant and landlord are both aware of their respective responsibilities.

The Licence-To-Alter typically includes details such as:

  • The specific alterations to be made
  • The timeframe in which the alterations must be completed
  • Any necessary approvals or permissions from relevant authorities
  • The responsibilities of both parties regarding the alterations

Why Would You Need a Licence-To-Alter?

Tenants might need a Licence-To-Alter when they wish to make significant changes to the property they are renting. These changes could include anything from installing new equipment or fixtures to carrying out extensive renovations or even structural changes. Some common reasons for needing a Licence-To-Alter include:

  • Changing the layout of the property, such as knocking down walls or building new partitions
  • Installing new fixtures or fittings, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or fire safety equipment
  • Carrying out significant refurbishment or redecoration works
  • Adding or upgrading electrical, plumbing, or heating systems
  • Making structural alterations, such as adding an extension or converting a loft

It's essential to check your lease agreement to understand the specific requirements related to alterations and discuss your plans with your landlord before starting any work.

How Much Does a Licence-To-Alter Cost?

The cost of a Licence-To-Alter can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the proposed alterations and the specific terms of your lease agreement. Generally, the tenant is responsible for covering all costs of obtaining a Licence-To-Alter.

These costs can include:

1. Legal Fees

Engaging a solicitor to draft the Licence-To-Alter agreement and negotiate its terms with the landlord's legal representative.

2. Surveyor Fees

Appointing a surveyor to assess the proposed alterations and ensure they comply with building regulations and do not adversely affect the property's structure or value.

3. Landlord's Costs

Reimbursing the landlord for any expenses they incur in reviewing and approving the proposed alterations, such as their legal and surveyor fees.

Overall, the cost of obtaining a Licence-To-Alter can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds, depending on the nature of the proposed changes and the complexity of the negotiations.

What Will Happen If You Fail to Get a Licence-To-Alter?

Failing to obtain a Licence-To-Alter before carrying out any alterations to your rented property can have serious consequences. Some potential outcomes of not obtaining the required license include the following:

1. Breach of Contract

Undertaking alterations without a Licence-To-Alter is likely to breach your lease agreement, which could lead to legal action by your landlord.

2. Financial Implications

The landlord may demand that you cover the cost of returning the property to its original state or compensate them for any loss of value resulting from the unauthorised alterations.

3. Eviction

In extreme cases, your landlord could seek to terminate your lease and evict you from the property due to the breach of contract.

To avoid these potential issues, it's crucial to discuss your plans with your landlord and ensure you obtain the necessary permissions before making any changes to the property.

Final Thoughts

A Licence-To-Alter is an essential legal document for tenants wishing to make significant alterations to their rented property. It's crucial to understand the requirements of your lease agreement and engage in open communication with your landlord before undertaking any changes.

If you need a Licence-To-Alter, don’t hesitate to contact us at Icon Surveyors. Our surveying team is more than happy to assist and help you get your project completed. Message us today for a free quote!

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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.



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