Structural Alterations - what does this include?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Structural Alterations - what does this include?

    Hello, I am in the process of renovating a flat with a 189 year lease. My partner and I want to turn the existing living room into a kitchen/living room. The existing kitchen will remain where it is as a utility room, only removing the cooker.

    To do this we will have to add water pipes to the living room (through one wall or under the floor). We will not be moving any gas.

    our lease states ‘the tenant hereby covenants with the landlord as follows; not to make any structural alterations to the demised premise without the landlords written approval of the plans and specifications thereof (which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld) and to make all such alterations with such plans and specifications and at the tenants expense to obtain all license for approvals of plans, permissions and other things necessary for carrying out of said alterations, and to comply with the bi-laws, regulations and other matters perscribed by any competent authority either generally or in respect of specific works involved in such alterations.’

    please can anyone advise whether this work will be classed as structural? We do not believe it is as it will not affect any walls, ceilings or windows and can find no definition to suggest that it is, however our freeholder is directing us to his solicitor who is insisting we need a license for alterations.

    Please can you help?!

    Write back to the freeholder (NOT the solicitor) saying:

    The structure of a building is those parts which support and enclose it, that is the foundations, roof and external and loadbearing walls. Our proposals do not involve altering any of those parts. We therefore do not understand why your solicitor maintains that a licence is required.


      Thank you so much for your response.

      so from the info I’ve outlined, you agree that the work we would like to undertake is non-structural and thus we can continue without the license for alterations?

      the freeholder lives in the building so we are keen to maintain an amicable relationship.


        "From the info I’ve outlined" are the key words. The devil can be in the detail. You need to be sure that nothing structural is involved. I would in any event wait a while to see if there is a response.


          You need to make sure you do not compromise fire exit routes from other parts of the flat particularly if above the first floor. Ground and first floors are deemed escapable by jumping out the window.

          You need to ensure that high risk areas such as the kitchen are not on the escape route from the bedroom and the kitchen has a door between it and the escape route.


            Why ?
            Who would ever come inside your own flat to check "exit routes" ?


              Just because no-one is likely to come and check up on you is no reason to avoid building regulations pertaining to fire safety. Which is what Tipper has pointed out without saying so directly.


              Latest Activity


              • Outstanding Service Charges - What to do when the leaseholder dies?
                by Anna_A
                I have done a bit of research, but I am still not sure where it is best to start so hoping for a few pointers with outstanding service charges.

                I'm a freeholder of a converted house. I recently sent a letter of claim to the leaseholder for non-payment of service charges, advising...
                16-04-2021, 07:36 AM
              • Reply to Outstanding Service Charges - What to do when the leaseholder dies?
                by flyingfreehold
                In practice what will happen is that the solicitors dealing with the estate will write to you for confirmation that no money is due under the lease, and they will pay you because a buyer will want to take the flat clear of arrears.
                17-04-2021, 17:31 PM
              • Reply to Outstanding Service Charges - What to do when the leaseholder dies?
                by Anna_A
                Thanks to each of you for your help. I had thought that perhaps there would be a process for the executor to follow with the small claims court in the event of someone passing away rather than obviously pursuing with a deceased person. Jon66, thanks for the article, really helpful, and for all your...
                17-04-2021, 09:51 AM
              • Reply to Understanding a lease
                by Lawcruncher
                The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 allows you to apply to the court for access rights, but only for carrying out repairs and not for carrying out improvements....
                17-04-2021, 07:35 AM
              • Understanding a lease
                by Pattyb
                Can anyone tell me what this means and how much ground rent is to be paid and when ?


                To hold the demised premises unto the Lease from the nineteenth day of December One thousand nine hundred and fifty-four for the term of nine hundred and ninety-nine years yielding and...
                10-04-2021, 21:29 PM
              • Money Claim Online
                by Sherry7
                Has anyone used this Money Claim Online to make a claim of a freeholder to carry out some maintenance? The form looks impressive and could save on legal fees if it works. Any input appreciated. Thanks
                14-04-2021, 16:11 PM
              • Reply to Money Claim Online
                by Sherry7
                Having a Court Judgement proving the FH has breached the lease is great but can that potentially put buyers off? It might well put me off buying a property knowing the FH is negligent. Seems everything a leaseholder does to try and remedy a problem then has a 'black mark' against them when trying to...
                17-04-2021, 07:15 AM
              • Reply to Understanding a lease
                by Pattyb
                Aside from getting consent from the freeholder to build in the loft, the neighbors downstairs said they would not allow any scaffolding to be put on their land. They own the front, side and back gardens, which is in their lease, it is not shared so I guess it would be classed as trespassing.
                17-04-2021, 07:09 AM
              • Reply to Reserve Fund charge for wooden cladding replacement
                by philg
                thanks DP for posting this , i saw a third floor flat with minimal wooden cladding and wondered if it would make a good investment . it seemed to ` stick ` on the market and this maybe explains why . many flats here have wooden balconies but not been able to suss out if folks having trouble getting...
                16-04-2021, 17:47 PM
              • Reserve Fund charge for wooden cladding replacement
                by DP64
                Hi, sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but didn't find anything when searching.

                I lease a top floor, one bedroom flat in a 3 storey purpose built block. I've just received a bill of £636 for the 'Reserve Fund' for this block. In early March I received a letter from the management...
                11-04-2021, 19:30 PM