Licences for Alterations

Under the terms of most commercial and residential leases a tenant or lessee is prohibited from making alterations without obtaining permission from the landlord first.

The wording of leases varies, so great care needs to be taken if a tenant or lessee wants to make alterations. Specialist advice should be taken. Normally input is required from both a solicitor and an experienced Building Surveyor.

Disputes between landlords, tenants or lessees can become extremely expensive if alterations are carried out without consent, or if work is carried out to a poor standard. 

At LBB Chartered Surveyors we are experienced in dealing with licences – acting for both landlords and tenants; providing expertise and helping our clients avoid expensive mistakes.  Our expert surveyors are familiar with this work and the terms of commercial and residential leases. Their detailed understanding of building construction and building processes enable them to guide clients through the process.

Occasionally leases prohibit any alterations, or tenants or lessees want to incorporate non-demised parts of the building into their accommodation. Typical examples might include extending into roof spaces, forming terraces on flat roofs or adopting sections of corridors or lobbies. 

Often in these cases not only is a landlord’s permission required but sometimes a premium payment may be applicable which needs to be agreed between the parties. With our blend of Building Surveying and Valuation expertise we are well-placed to assist in the valuation of such premiums.

When disputes arise from alterations expert advice may be needed. 

We offer an expert witness and litigation service to provide expert evidence and advice in connection with disputed alterations.  We have previously advised and acted as expert witnesses for disputes relating to replacement floors and sound transmission problems, trespass, unlicensed changes of use from office units to residential use and breach of restrictive covenants. 

Whether you are a tenant wanting to understand the extent of alterations you might be able to carry out or a landlord wanting to obtain expert advice on proposals from one of your tenants we are able to assist.

For advice, or more information, contact: 

John Byers BSc FRICS ACIArb

Justin Bennett BSc FRICS ACIArb

Iain Pendle BSc (Hons) MRICS



Related Stories

Landlord & Tenant

At LBB we are able to act as your consultants and provide expert advice, for either landlord or tenants, relating to the negotiation of lease

Read More »


What are Dilapidations? The term is normally used to cover defects or disrepair which a tenant (normally a commercial tenant) will be required to deal

Read More »