There are often restrictions in commercial and residential leases concerning alterations a leaseholder/tenant can undertake to the property, and it is important that any restrictions are complied with.

Sometimes the restrictions are absolute: no alterations are permitted whatsoever; or qualified: alterations are permitted subject to certain terms. Such terms normally include obtaining landlord’s consent. If alterations are subject to a qualified restriction, the terms of the restriction should be complied with, ideally prior to the works being carried out.

If landlord’s consent is required for works, consent is normally granted by way of a licence for alterations. Such licence should stipulate the terms upon which consent to the works is being granted and protects both landlord and leaseholder/tenant. The licence is also evidence of consent that can be provided to future purchasers of the property.

Should works be carried out without requisite consent, a licence for alterations is often advisable as it can still be entered by the relevant parties which grants consent retrospectively.

Any refusal to grant consent may be challenged on grounds of reasonableness.

We have significant experience drafting suitable licences for alterations, including those granting retrospective consent, for both landlords and leaseholders/tenants, as well as significant expertise assisting a party refuse consent or challenging the withholding of consent. Do not hesitate to contact our leasehold enfranchisement team whether you are dealing with any of these matters.