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Licence for Alterations

There are times when a commercial tenant may require some changes to the property they occupy under a lease. These changes could be as varied as the removal an internal wall in a shop to installing new heating or alternative service installations in an office. To carry out these alterations, the tenant will likely need the permission of the landlord. This will come in the form of a document called a ‘Licence for Alterations’.

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Commercial leases usually have restrictions concerning alterations that a tenant can carry out at a property. A tenant must comply with those restrictions to avoid being in breach of their lease terms.

The restrictions on alterations could be absolute: no alterations are permitted whatsoever; or qualified: alterations are permitted subject to landlord’s consent. Usually a lease would include an absolute covenant against making structural alterations and a qualified covenant against making internal non-structural alterations – this is where a licence for alteration comes in.

If the landlord’s consent is required for works, consent would be given in a licence for alterations. This licence should stipulate the terms upon which consent to the works is given, and would include reinstatement obligations where appropriate i.e. if you were to alter the layout of your premeses, you may be asked to put everything back as you found it at the end of your lease term. The licence is also evidence of consent for the alterations that can be given to future purchasers of the property’s lease.

There is a statutory obligation on landlords to be reasonable in the giving or withholding of consent, and most modern leases include a provision stating that the landlord’s consent cannot be unreasonable withheld.

We have a wealth of experience drafting licences for alterations for both landlords and tenants, and can explain the terms, obligations and liabilities without bogging you down with legal jargon. If you would like to speak to one of our Commercial property lawyers, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 020 8768 6869.

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If you would like to discuss our commercial property services or book an appointment with us, please get in touch, or request a callback.

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