fbpx

Why do I need my landlord’s consent to alter my commercial property?

Aug 4, 2022

When taking a commercial lease there is usually a prohibition on the tenant carrying out alterations to the commercial property without the landlord’s consent.

This is because a landlord remains the ultimate owner of the property and will take back the property into their possession upon expiry of the lease (provided no subsequent/renewal lease is entered into). As such, they are likely to want to retain control over which alterations are carried out to the commercial property and the manner in which they are made during the life of any granted lease.

The points which a landlord may consider when dealing with a tenant application for their consent to proposed alterations may include:

1. Making sure the alterations do not negatively affect the value of the property (to preserve the landlord’s investment)

2. Ensuring the works are carried out to the appropriate standard and have all necessary permissions

3. Preserving the external appearance of the property, or maintaining visual unity of properties if the property is located on an industrial estate or in a parade of shops

4. Ensuring the landlord does not become liable under any legislation as a result of the works

5. Ensuring the landlord does not become liable to any third party as a result of the works

6. Ensuring the works do not alter the energy efficiency rating of the property as properties must meet a minimum rating in order to be lawfully let

Whilst internal demountable partitioning is often permitted without consent, a lease will usually stipulate that a landlord’s prior consent is required to any internal and non-structural works and alterations. More often than not, the lease will state that the landlord’s consent to internal alterations must not be unreasonably withheld or delayed – so the landlord must act reasonably when considering a request for alterations.

The landlord’s consent is typically documented in a formal document known as a Licence for Alterations.

What happens if I carry out works without a Licence for Alterations?

Whilst this may not pose an issue if the lease does not contain any prohibition or restrictions on alterations, if the Lease states that the landlord’s prior consent is required for any alterations then, without this consent, a tenant would be in breach of the covenants in their lease.

In such a situation, if a tenant carries out alterations without the prior consent of the landlord, not only can they be required to remove the alterations once the Landlord finds out, but they may also be required to reimburse the landlord for any loss (including financial) that the landlord has suffered as a result. Ultimately a tenant risks their lease being forfeited if they remain in persistent breach of covenant.

Unauthorised alterations can also prove an issue if a tenant wishes to transfer their lease, or finance the property, as they would be required to show that they had obtained the necessary consents to any alterations carried out to the commercial property.

We would recommend you always seek the assistance of a property solicitor when reviewing and negotiating a Licence for Alterations to ensure the Licence allows you to carry out your proposed works and to help avoid any overly onerous obligations (in the case of a tenant) or ensure the works are carried out to the appropriate standard in order to help avoid any inherited liabilities (in the case of a landlord).

For more advice on the topics covered by this article please contact Kerry Roshier at Herrington Carmichael at Kerry.Roshier@herrington-carmichael.com.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.
Kerry Roshier

Kerry Roshier

Solicitor, Property Law

Sign up

Enter your email address for legal updates on Property & Construction Law.

Please see our privacy policy regarding use of your data.


Latest News & Insights

Top Legal Insights

 

Contract Law

Material Breach of Contract

What is a ‘material’ breach of contract by a party to a commercial contract? This is a critical issue regularly considered by the courts. What constitutes a material breach and what are the remedies?

Property Law

Commercial Lease: The Financial impact on Landlord and Tenant

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the restrictions now in place to control its spread, are having a significant effect on many business sectors.

Divorce and Family Law

Divorce in Lockdown: Can I get some discreet legal advice?

We have spoken to clients who are unfortunately experiencing some family issues, and would like to obtain expert legal advice, yet don’t know how...

Land & Property Dispute

Restrictive Covenants – The Price of Modification

Having identified that your land is burdened by a restrictive covenant and for the purposes of this article the covenant in question will be that only one residential building can be erected on the land. What do you do next?

Wills, Trusts and Probate

Why is having a will so important?

It is entirely up to you if and when you want to create a Will, but it is important to be aware of the consequences of not having a Will.

Award winning legal advice

We are solicitors in Camberley, Wokingham and London. In 2019, Herrington Carmichael won ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Business Magazines Property Awards, ‘Best Medium Sized Business’ at the Surrey Heath Business Awards and we were named IR Global’s ‘Member of the Year’. We are ranked as a Leading Firm 2022 by Legal 500 and Alistair McArthur is ranked in Chambers 2021.

Camberley
Building 2  Watchmoor Park, Riverside Way, Camberley, Surrey  GU15 3YL
+44 (0)1276 686 222

Reading (Appointment only)
YoooServ The Abbey, Abbey Gardens, Abbey Street, Reading RG1 3BA
+44 (0)1276 686 222

Ascot (Appointment only)
102, Berkshire House, 39-51 High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7HY
+44 (0)1344 623388

London (Appointment only)
60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4JS
+44 (0)203 326 0317

Wokingham (Appointment only)
4 The Courtyard, Denmark Street, Wokingham, Berkshire RG40 2AZ
+44 (0)118 977 4045

Email: info@herrington-carmichael.com

Our Services

Corporate Lawyers
Commercial Lawyers
Commercial Property Lawyers
Conveyancing Solicitors
Dispute Resolution Lawyers
Divorce & Family Lawyers
Employment Lawyers
Immigration Law Services
Private Wealth & Inheritance Lawyers
Startups & New Business Lawyers

© 2022 Herrington Carmichael LLP. Registered in England and Wales company number OC322293.

Herrington Carmichael is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with registration number 446245.

Pay Online

Privacy Policy   |   Legal Notices, T&Cs, Complaints Resolution   |   Cookies 
Client Feedback   |  Diversity Data