In most instances, commercial tenants are not allowed to make property alterations without the formal permission of their landlord. Applying for such permission is referred to as seeking a ‘license for alterations’, which the landlord reserves the right to grant or refuse.
At Aristone Solicitors, we’re proud to support commercial landlords and tenants with all types of property disputes. Whether interested in applying for a license for alterations or in need of mediation to resolve a dispute, we can help.
A license for alterations is needed for the simple reason that the tenant is in no way the formal legal owner of the property. For the duration of their tenancy, they are simply ‘borrowing’ the property up from its rightful owner at an agreed rate.
This therefore means that if they wish to make any alterations to the property whatsoever, they must first receive the consent of the landlord. Minor alterations and cosmetic improvements may be permitted within the primary lease, but anything more significant requires formal permission.
Unfortunately, commercial landlords and tenants often find themselves unable to agree on what represents an acceptable or unacceptable alteration to the property.
Every landlord has their own unique opinions and limitations regarding acceptable and unacceptable alterations. Nevertheless, anything involving the physical structure, plumbing, wiring or layout of the building will usually require a license for alterations.
Examples of which include:
To avoid potentially costly consequences at a later stage, it’s important to consult with your landlord before implementing any alterations whatsoever to their commercial property.
If you knowingly or unknowingly go about alterations your landlord neither consents to nor approves of, you could find yourself brought before the courts. As you will have breached your contract, your landlord will have the right to terminate the agreement immediately and evict you from the premises.
In addition, they may seek damages to restore the building’s former layout, appearance, structure etc. You may also be held liable for all legal costs incurred on their behalf.
This is why it is of the utmost importance to ensure you fully understand your entitlements and obligations as a tenant. If you have any doubts whatsoever regarding your right to alter the property, you must consult with your landlord directly. In addition, always ensure that the permission you receive is formalised in writing, as you may need to present it as evidence at a later stage.
Whether you’re a tenant looking to apply a for a License for Alterations or a landlord in the midst of a dispute with the occupant of your property, we can help. Contact the team at Aristone Solicitors anytime to discuss your requirements, or to arrange your free initial consultation at our Central Luton office.
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