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By Alan Draper | Apr 2020

Can I make alterations to my flat?

It is usually the case that there will be a provision in leases in relation to any changes (alterations) to a leasehold property. There can be two types of clauses in the lease.

First type of clause may be one that allows you to make any changes. If the lease allows you to make any alterations, there may be a pre-condition that you must obtain consent from your landlord or some other party before proceeding with any works. This means that you cannot carry out the works without first obtaining consent. Consent should not be unreasonably withheld if the alteration is an improvement.

Or the lease can have a clause to prohibit any changes to be made to the property at all even if you ask for consent from the landlord. If your lease does not allow you to carry out alterations you will need to ask your landlord if they are willing to change (vary) the lease and remove this restriction.

Will there be any charges to allow alterations?

If your lease requires you to obtain consent prior to carrying out an alteration to the property, your landlord may be able to charge a reasonable administration charge. Any administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of leaseholders’ rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not payable. Be aware of the sort of charges a landlord might make. These could include such Items as; surveyors costs of checking plans and the work itself, solicitor`s costs for drawing up a formal licence and general administration charges.

Will I need to vary the lease?

If you change the physical layout of the flat the original lease plans will not correspond to the actual layout of the flat and so the lease will need to be varied. A deed of variation in this instance would normally take the form of an amended plan which is registered at the Land Registry. If you do not obtain a deed of variation you may experience problems when you decide to sell the flat.

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