Saracens Blog

Obtaining the right to make alterations to a property

Commercial Lease Solicitor in London

Many tenants want to make alterations to a property that they are leasing for business purposes. There may be several points during the process of making changes where a commercial lease solicitor in London, like Saracens Solicitors, could be useful. Planning permission may be required and landlord consent is often necessary. If a tenant has not yet signed the lease, conditions around alterations may be included in the lease itself. Sometimes, a landlord can be asked to make certain types of alterations before the tenant takes possession. Saracens Solicitors can give you legal advice and assistance with documentation in all of these cases when acting as your commercial lease solicitor in London.

Referring to the lease

A lease tells the tenant what action they need to take in order to make alterations to a property.

Rarely, a lease will contain no restrictions at all. This means that the tenant can do almost whatever they wish. Even then, there may still be some implied conditions that apply. A commercial lease solicitor in London can help you determine if this is the case.

At the other end of the spectrum, the lease could contain an absolute prohibition. This means that the landlord can refuse to allow alterations to be made regardless of whether it is reasonable or not.

More commonly, the tenant makes a formal application to the landlord in order to make alterations and, if the work is reasonable and deemed to be improvement, the landlord will not or cannot refuse. This is either a qualified condition or a fully qualified covenant.

If the landlord’s permission is required, it’s best to get formal consent so that there is a record in the case of any dispute.

This will not alleviate the need of obtaining planning permission where such works require consent from the local authority as well. The landlords consent often has a condition that the tenant will obtain all necessary consents to carry out the work in addition to the consent of the landlord.

Making an application

Every application is different but should contain the information required to identify the type and location of alterations, whether landlord consent is needed and information regarding planning permission.

If the landlord doesn’t have an absolute prohibition in place and they refuse to grant permission for the alterations, a solicitor can help the tenant negotiate or make an application through the courts. It is always best if dispute of this nature can be settled amicably but formally to protect all parties involved.

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