Licence to Alter is the term given to the consent that a leaseholder requires before making certain alterations to a leasehold property. It is a formal, legal document that sets out the terms and conditions under which the alterations may be carried out. It ensures that no unexpected complications or conflicts will arise as a result of the work.
On one level, a Licence to Alter is a simple contract between a leaseholder and his or her landlord, but in fact it often involves multiple stakeholders. Once the leaseholder asks the landlord for permission to carry out the alterations, the landlord will typically call upon a building surveyor and to review the leaseholder’s proposals, assess the them in the context of the lease and report on their implications for the building.
The surveyor will also provide recommendations for the terms and conditions of the consent. Solicitors (either acting on behalf of the landlord and/or the leaseholder) liaise between the landlord and the leaseholder to draw up the formal consent document — the licence itself.