Property Improvement

Every homeowner dreams of transforming their property into the home of their dreams. Whether it's renovating the kitchen, converting the loft or remodelling the garden, making changes to your property requires planning, permits, and in some cases, a licence to alter. A licence to alter is a document issued by local authorities that authorises structure alterations to the property. This article will explain why obtaining a licence to alter is essential for property improvement.

What a Licence to Alter Does

A licence to alter grants building owners or tenants permission to change the physical structure of their property legally or, in some instances, 'Crown Lease' lands. It outlines the alterations allowed by the local authority and sets out the conditions to comply with any planning regulations or building control requirements.

For instance, if you plan to extend your home or convert your loft, you will need a licence to alter or a building regulations certificate from the local authority. A licence to alter should be obtained before any work is carried out, and the issued permits must be kept to ensure that the alterations comply with all statutory requirements.

What Structural Alterations Require a Licence to Alter?

For homeowners, the most common alterations that require a licence to alter are conversions (such as loft and garage conversions), extensions, and other renovations that significantly change the property's structure. These alterations must generally meet planning regulations. However, this can vary depending on the local authority.

The Benefits of Obtaining a Licence to Alter

Obtaining a licence to alter is essential if you are making structural changes to your property. Here are the benefits of getting one:

1. Keeps You in Check With Relevant Building Regulations and Codes

If the structure of your house is set to be altered, it's important to understand what is and isn't allowed. Building regulations vary between different areas, and building codes depend on the type of construction required.

Getting a licence to alter gives you the assurance that your work meets the required regulations and codes. It states that any new home improvement project meets the required construction standards and also checks the structural safety of any existing construction that will be impacted. This means all alterations to your home will be safe and secure.

2. Helps Maintain Property Value

Unsurprisingly, making changes to your property can significantly increase its value. However, alterations not done according to local regulations could reduce its overall value.

A licence to alter ensures any changes you make won't negatively affect the value of your property in the long term. This is especially important if you're ever looking to sell. The alterations will be accounted for correctly, and you'll be protected from any potential legal action due to any discrepancy in the regulations.

3. Subsidised by the Government

The rules and regulations of a licence to alter will depend on the scope of the modification and your local council, but in some cases, it may be subsidised by the government. This could save you thousands of pounds, making it a worthwhile investment even for smaller projects.


A licence to alter is essential for any homeowner planning to make significant structural changes to their property. It ensures that all alterations comply with local and national regulations and gives homeowners peace of mind that the alterations are being conducted safely and legally. Moreover, obtaining a licence to alter can add value to your home and make it more saleable.

Icon Surveyors provides you with a comprehensive licence for alteration service, ensuring that all of your proposed alterations are compliant with local and national regulations. We can also offer advice and guidance on approaching your home improvement project and ensuring that any changes you make are safe and legal. Call 020 7493 9087 to get a service 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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