Consent to Alterations Advice Please!

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  • Consent to Alterations Advice Please!

    Hi there

    First time user here but I have searched the threads as much as possible for advice before posting. My circumstances are as follows:

    1. I am a long leaseholder in an apartment block. I would like to carry out some minor improvements to the apartment in contemplation of a future sale or sub-letting.

    2. My lease contains the following consent to alterations clause:

    "Not to cut maim or injure nor to make any breach in any part of the structure of the Development nor without the previous consent in writing of the Lessor or its agents to make any alteration whatsoever to the interior plan or design of the Demised Premises nor to make any openings therein nor to open up any floors walls or ceilings for the purpose of altering or renewing any pipes wires ducts or conduits nor to alter any of the Lessor's fixtures or appliances therein ……. .".

    3. The next clause says:

    "On making application for any such consent as aforesaid to submit to the Lessor or its agents such plans block elevations and specifications as the Lessor or its agents shall require and to pay the reasonable necessary and proper legal and surveyors fees of the Lessor in connection with any such application ….. .".

    4. I understand from previous advice on this forum that under s.19(2) LTA 1927, the landlord should not unreasonably withhold consent.

    5. I would like to remove the top half of an internal, non-load bearing bathroom wall behind which certain pipes run. It seems the purpose of the wall is essentially to provide a boxing for the pipes and it is not my intention to disrupt the piping, but rather to reduce the size of the boxing, and therefore create some much needed space.

    6. It is my understanding that such works have been carried out by owners of other flats in my block without asking for, or obtaining any consent. Ideally, I would like to do the same but am keen to ensure I do not store up any issues when it comes to selling the property.

    7. I could, of course, ask for consent but I am concerned that due to the presence of the plumbing behind the wall, that the landlord's agents will refuse the works for fear of me disrupting the pipes (which I have no intention of doing). Such a refusal may, on the face of it appear reasonable but to get the agent comfortable that the proposed works would not adversely affect the plumbing, this may involve having to commission plans etc which will cost a disproportionate amount to the cost of the works.

    8. My questions therefore are as follows:

    (A) If I go ahead with the works without requesting consent, what potential recourse may the landlord have?

    (B) When it comes to selling the apartment, I understand that I may need to confirm (in the Home Information Pack) whether I have made any "structural alterations". To my mind, this is minor non-structural alteration but I would appreciate any thoughts on whether people agree/disagree with this.

    (C) Assuming I provide a seller with my most recent ground rent receipt (which I understand gives the purchaser the right to assume that all covenants are in compliance), could any potential liability attach to the purchaser for a minor breach of the alterations clause?

    Any thoughts or advice would be most appreciated.

    Thanks to all.

  • #2
    Wrong forum. Please re-post in LONG LEASEHOLDS.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


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