Undertaking work to your flat?  Do you need consent?

With the Christmas holidays and New Year soon upon us, it isn’t unusual for some of us to start thinking of using the time off to refresh and decorate our homes or even make New Year’s resolutions to carry out more comprehensive home improvements in 2019.

If you own the freehold of your house then, subject to some formalities, you are largely free to do this.  For many flat owners (leaseholders), whether you plan an entire conversion by moving walls and creating a new floor plan, install a new bathroom, erect a partition wall, replace windows, or even simply painting and decorating, your ability to do so is not always so straightforward.

Many leaseholders do not realise that the work they may want to undertake to their property may actually require their landlord’s consent.

Whether consent is required or not will depend on the terms of the lease.  It is always necessary to check the terms of the lease and ensure that these are complied with before undertaking any works.

If a leaseholder fails to obtain the landlord’s consent where it is required, they could be in beach of their lease and face the landlord bringing legal proceedings against them for the breach.  Such action may involve an application for ‘specific performance’ which requires the leaseholder to put the property back into its original state at their own cost.  In some extreme cases, the landlord may even make an application to forfeit the lease.

Alternatively, if the landlord is agreeable to the works, they may be willing to grant ‘retrospective consent’ but this cannot be guaranteed and the landlord is not compelled to do so.  This is why it is so important for leaseholders to check whether or not they will need their landlord’s consent before they start any works.

If you are planning on carrying out some work to your leasehold property and you are unsure whether your landlord’s consent will be required, or if you are a landlord who has a tenant looking to undertake works or who already has undertaken works, please get in touch with us and we will happily discuss your options with you . Please contact  Dani Green on 020 7288 4751 or

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