Licence to Alter

Formal permission to change the layout of a flat

The flat owner’s ability to carry out work to their flat will be governed by the terms of their lease. If there is a total prohibition against alterations, or they are required to obtain consent, then it is usually given by way of a licence to alter.

The licence to alter will be granted by the landlord to the tenant. Some leases require that a licence is obtained as a pre-requisite to the commencement of any work.

What is the purpose of a licence to alter?

A licence gives the flat owner permission to proceed with work approved by their landlord without putting them in breach of their lease. Once a licence has been granted, then, provided the flat owner complies with the terms of the licence, they will not be prevented from carrying out the work.

Who pays for the licence?

In most cases the flat owner must pay the landlord’s reasonable legal costs for preparing a licence to alter.

What needs to be provided before the licence is granted?

Unless the work is very basic the flat owner should be asked to provide their plans and specifications so that the landlord or their professional advisors can consider them before the licence is granted.

What is included in a licence?

The licence will briefly describe the work being carried out but the full specification of the work and any accompanying plans are usually annexed to the licence. The licence will then set out how and when the work must proceed.

Is a deed of variation required?

A deed of variation will be registrable at Land Registry and so bind future flat owners and landlords. Therefore, if the alterations to the flat are major and permanent it makes sense for the changes to be recorded and registered in a deed of variation rather than just a licence. This is particularly so if the extent of the flat owner’s property changes size (i.e. the flat is made bigger) in which case a new Land Registry compliant lease plan will probably be needed for the deed of variation.

Licence to Alter Prices

Our prices depend on the complexity of the licence that is required. If you email us information about the proposed work we will be able to provide you with a detailed quote. There is no obligation to instruct us.