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Leasehold alterations

Learn the process for making alterations to your property

The Council has a duty to consider requests for alterations from leaseholders. They have produced a new set of guidelines to help you through the application process.

Please read the guidelines before making your application.

Consent

You must seek written conditional consent before you start any work

Landlord’s written consent to alterations must be given by Tower Hamlets Council. If your proposal is accepted you will usually receive a conditional consent letter. This will set out a number of conditions which you must fulfil before formal written consent is provided.

Please note you must seek this written provisional consent from THH before you approach the Planning Department or Building Control. Without the formal written consent of THH you will be in breach of your lease and if you carry out unauthorised alterations you may be asked to put the property back to its original condition. The Council may also take legal action against you.

THH manage the process on behalf of the Council and will submit applications to the Council for a decision.

In addition to Landlord’s consent you may need a number of other permissions to support your application such as building control, planning or compliance with fire regulations. Again, these Department should only be approached once you have received written conditional consent from THH.

You will need to be clear in your application exactly what you are planning to do and who and how they will be carried out. Your contractor may need to be an approved contractor (e.g. for gas appliances) and may need insurance cover.

 

In order for you to carry out an alteration in your property and after you have received written conditional consent from THH; you may have to:

  • Ensure your alteration is wholly contained in the part of the land/building under your ownership.
  • Provide us full details of the works proposed (including plans, drawings, and measurements where possible).
  • Provide details of a reputable contractor with Public Liability Insurance of up to £1 million who will carry out the work to an acceptable standard that meets health and safety requirements.
  • Provide a Structural Engineer's report if removing internal walls (whether partition or supporting walls) and to ensure that the application does not cause damage to the structure of the building.
  • Ensure your service charge account is paid up in full with no monies owing on the account.

When we receive your request and the fee (see table below), the Alterations Officer will review your application and liaise with you. Depending on the type of alteration, our Surveyor may visit your property. If you need to make any changes to your plans so that they meet our requirements, we will let you know what these are and what you need to do.

When the Alteration’s Officer and Surveyor have agreed your alteration in principle, we formally apply to the Council for landlord’s conditional consent. You do not need to be involved in this part of the process as we will do it on your behalf. We will write to you to tell you when the Council has made a decision.

When we receive your request and the fee (see table below), the Alterations Officer will review your application and liaise with you. Depending on the type of alteration, our Surveyor may visit your property. If you need to make any changes to your plans so that they meet our requirements, we will let you know what these are and what you need to do.

When the Alteration’s Officer and Surveyor have agreed your alteration in principle, we formally apply to the Council for landlord’s conditional consent. You do not need to be involved in this part of the process as we will do it on your behalf. We will write to you to tell you when the Council has made a decision.

Asbestos

Your alteration may involve affecting a part of the building where asbestos is present. For example if you are putting in sound insulation you may disturb either your property or have to (with THH permission) go into the ‘reserved’ part of the building (that belonging to the Council).

Needless to say after seeking THH consent you must employ a contractor authorised to work and/or remove asbestos.

Fees

The following fees apply for alteration requests:

Type of Approval

Minor Alterations

Major Alterations

Application fee

£250

£250

Letter of Consent*

£250

£300

Licence of alterations *

£250

£300

Deed of Variation

£250

£300

 

Other fees(as applicable):

 

 

Property Services

£500

£500

Legal Services

£750

£750

Note these are largely the minimum fees payable. Additional fees will be payable should the application become protracted or the proposal is complicated. Surveyors fees are payable by the time spent on your application.

* You cannot be charged for a letter of consent and licence of consent.

Additionally, THH will charge

  • £90 an hour for a structural assessment or a post inspection
  • £50 an hour for significant administrative work

THH will carry out a post inspection before a final consent or licence is issued. Sometimes we may have to complete a Deed of Variation to your lease and your service charges payable could increase.

Guidance notes