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Licence to alter - commercial property

If you are a tenant in a commercial property and you wish to undertake alterations to the property, your lease may require you to obtain consent from your landlord before any works are started. Landlords often place restrictions on the alterations or improvements that a tenant can make during a lease term. If your lease stipulates your landlord’s consent is needed for alterations, it is common practice for landlords to document their consent in the form of a formal licence for alterations.

 

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Purpose of a licence to alter

The purpose of the licence is to record the works the tenant proposes to undertake to the property, to safeguard the landlord's interest and the interests of other tenants who may also occupy the same building.

If you are a tenant and planning to undertake works, it is important to establish whether a licence is required before starting any works, otherwise you may be in breach of your lease. It may be problematic and more costly to apply for retrospective consent for the works if you proceed without getting consent.

When a tenant notifies their Landlord that works are planned, the tenant will be asked to provide details of the proposed works which will usually require the preparation of drawings, plans and specifications. The landlord may ask for conditions to be met as part of the works and these should be recorded in the licence to alter.

The commercial property solicitors at Stephensons are familiar with and can deal with licences to alter on behalf of both landlords and tenants. We are able to provide advice in relation the issues which affect licences and the provisions which are required to be included in licences. Tenants who require to make an application or landlords who receive applications for a licence to alter should seek independent legal advice.

If you need assistance with a licence to alter please do not hesitate to contact the commercial property team.

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