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Licence for Alterations

A commercial lease often imposes restrictions on the alterations that can be made to premises. A Licence for Alterations is necessary to ensure that the premises are reinstated to the original configuration on expiry of the lease.

What is a Licence for Alterations?

Often in Commercial Property a tenant may require certain alterations to the property they occupy under a lease. To carry out these alterations, the tenant will likely need the consent of the landlord. This consent will come in the form of a document called a ‘Licence for Alterations’.

Why Alterations are required?

These alterations can be required for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • altering the structure to fit the tenant’s commercial needs,
  • installing new service installations
  • opening the layout of the property by removing walls
  • erecting walls or a partition to create offices or other smaller rooms within the property

Whether or not a Licence for Alterations is necessary will depend on how much work the tenant is proposing to carry out to the property, as well as what the lease itself states.

Why a Licence for Alterations is important for Tenant?

A Licence for Alterations is important to the tenant for a number of reasons,

  • to ensure they comply with the terms of their lease
  • To avoid breaching the lease and facing enforcement action
  • If a Licence for Alterations is not granted prior to the works being carried out and the tenant retrospectively seeks this, the landlord will be given a huge advantage in terms of negotiating power and the demands they can make for the Licence to be given
  • Tenant seeking to assign a lease whereby unauthorised alterations have taken place may face difficulties in finding potential purchasers.


Why a Licence for Alterations is important for Landlord?

For the landlord, a Licence for Alterations is important to ensure that all works carried out to their property are accurately recorded. It is not uncommon for leases to contain a reinstatement clause – an obligation on the tenant to return the property to the condition it was in prior to the lease commencement, which can include an obligation to remove any fittings installed by the tenant during their occupation. While these works are typically carried out at the tenant’s own cost, it is important for the landlord to have a clear and detailed understanding of what is required to be removed.

How we can help?

We understand that it’s essential that the interests of both the landlord and the tenant are fully protected to prevent future disputes resulting from the alterations. Whether you’re a commercial landlord or tenant, HS Legal Solicitors can act on your behalf, dealing with all the necessary paperwork to achieve a positive outcome for all parties. If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to licence for alteration, then please contact on 01206500181.

Lease drafting and acquisition/assignment of a lease

One of our expert team members can help you with the assignment of lease and acquisition of existing leasehold premises or the drafting of a new lease.

Definition of “Assignment of Lease”

The Assignment of Lease is a process where all rights that a lessee or tenant possesses over a property are transferred to another party.


What is an Assignment of Lease?

If a tenant wants to get out of a lease that is not expired, one of the legal options is to assign or transfer the lease to somebody else. For example, if somebody signs a commercial lease for 12 months and the business stops working after 10 months, that person can still opt not to pay for the remaining 2 months by assigning the lease. The document attesting the transfer is called an “Assignment of Lease Agreement”.

 Are there any duties placed on the landlord when an assignment of lease is to take place?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 provides for the following duties placed on the landlord when an assignment is to take place:

  • To give consent to an assignment, except where it is reasonable not to do so
  • To give consent without undue delay
  • If the landlord also requires the consent of a superior landlord, to take reasonable steps to secure consent without undue delay


What happens if the landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement over the assignment of a lease?

In some scenarios, a tenant will feel that he can justify a claim for assignment of the lease and the landlord is unreasonably withholding consent. If this situation occurs the tenant has the option of simply carrying on the transaction for the assignment of the lease.


We understand that this can be a complicated process and will advise you on all issues, keeping you fully informed at all times throughout the process. If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice on the assignment of lease, then please contact on 01206500181.

Dealing with forfeiture for non-payment of rent or breach of tenants’ covenants

Forfeiture is a landlord’s right, in certain circumstances, to regain possession of the premises and bring the lease to an end. The right is set out in a clause of the lease. In fact, the right to forfeit must be expressly reserved in the lease.

What is forfeiture and when can it be used?

The ability to forfeit enables a landlord to re-enter their property following a breach by the tenant, and by doing so, terminate the lease. Depending upon the reason for forfeiture, termination can take place with immediate effect, or following a period of notice.

In order to be able to forfeit a lease, a landlord will firstly need to establish the basis of their right to do so. The most common way to do this is to rely on a specific clause in the lease which grants to the landlord the right to forfeit in certain circumstances.

It is also worth noting that, in certain situations, a landlord can exercise a right to forfeit in the absence of a specific clause in the lease. If the tenant has breached a condition of the lease then the right arises automatically.

Contact Us

Professional help is essential when dealing with forfeiture for non payment of rent or breach of tenants’ covenant. HS Legal Solicitors are fully aware that attention to detail is vital in these matters and one of our experienced team members will deal with your matter efficiently in order to secure a professional and timely outcome. For more details contact us on 01206500181.


Sale or purchase of commercial freehold property


If you are considering acquiring a freehold commercial property, HS Legal Solicitors will ensure that your matter is dealt with by an experienced property lawyer regardless of the nature or value of the transaction.


How we can help with your sale or purchase freehold commercial property?


Our commercial property team act for a broad range of companies and individuals in the United Kingdom, advising on all aspects of freehold commercial property. We understand that these types of transactions involve a number of legal as well as commercial issues. We will work with you throughout the transaction from negotiating the Head of Terms through to completion of the contract.

Purchase of a freehold commercial property

Individuals purchase commercial properties for many reasons including:
• To acquire the right to change the property to fit their business needs without having to obtain permission from a landlord
• To have complete, long-term security of tenure
• To be able to sub-let parts of the premises that are not being utilised
• As an investment

Selling a freehold commercial property

If you are planning to sell your freehold commercial property you will require sound, solid legal advice from the outset in order to see the sale run smoothly. Our commercial property lawyers will advise you on:

  • A well-drafted Head of Terms
    • Warranties and indemnities
    • Negotiations as to the purchase price and restrictive covenants
    • Your rights and obligations with regards to any existing tenants
    • Exchange of contracts and completion

Contact Us

We will ensure that your matter is efficiently dealt with by an experienced property advisor regardless of the nature or value of the transaction. We will make sure that full due diligence is carried out and guide you through the process swiftly. Our expert solicitors understand that these transactions involve both commercial and legal issues and will assist you throughout the transaction from negotiation through to completion. For more details contact us on 01206500181.

Rent deposits

When a tenant moves into a rental property, he or she will pay the landlord rent deposits in addition to first month’s rent. This deposit will be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease term, as long as the tenant follows all the terms of the lease agreement.

What is rent deposits?

Rent deposits are money provided by a tenant to its landlord as security for payment of the rent and performance of the tenant’s covenants contained in the lease. Rent deposits deed will specify the circumstances in which the landlord can draw on this money and the conditions that must be satisfied for the deposit to be repaid to the tenant.

Why Landlords like rent deposits?

Landlords like rent deposits because they are easily accessible sources of money that came be drawn upon as soon as the tenant is in breach of a relevant covenant in the lease. Court action is not required to recover the debt or enforce performance of the obligation. Tenants are not generally too keen on rent deposits as they lock up capital, often for a lengthy period.

When will a rent deposit be taken?

Rent deposits will be put in place on the grant of a lease or on the assignment of an existing lease. If the landlord does require a rent deposit it will usually be for one of the following reasons;

  • The tenant’s covenant is weak and therefore unsatisfactory to the landlord without some additional comfort
  • The tenant may be an overseas company with fe, if any, UK assets
  • The tenant is a new business and so is unable to provide evidence of its past good behaviour as a tenant.

When will the rent deposit be returned to the tenant?

The rent deposits will generally be returnable in the following circumstances;-

  • Assignment under the lease in accordance with the lease. (On such an occasion the landlord may, if appropriate, want to require a new rent deposit from the assignee.)
  • Expiry of the lease term without any holding over under the landlord and tenant Act 1954
  • Early termination of the lease by agreement. Early termination by agreement would exclude forfeiture and disclaimer

How can we help?

One of our team members will be able to draft the agreement and advise you on all matters related to commercial rent deposits – who holds the deposit, who is entitled to the interest, when the deposit should be repaid and under what circumstances should the landlord be allowed to deduct money from the deposit. We will use our experience and expertise to ensure that your interests are safeguarded as efficiently as possible.

If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to rent deposits, then please contact on 01206500181.

Lease renewals

HS Legal Solicitors lease renewals team offers lease expiry advice to landlords and tenants and complete support to clients involved a business lease renewal process.

Our Services on Lease Renewal

  • Lease analysis to establish whether the business tenancy is protected under legislation
  • Liaison with legal advisors to ensure the correct service of statutory notices
  • Inspection, measurement and analysis of comparable market transactions
  • Negotiations with the other party
  • Recommendations to settle or seek court proceedings
  • Issue of formal offers to settle, to protect a client’s ongoing court costs
  • Provision of expert witness reports and representation in court if required
  • Liaison with legal advisors over the terms of the new lease.


Businesses whose lease is covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act (1954) Part II have a legal right to remain in occupation after the lease has expired. Such commercial tenants also have the right to obtain a new lease on similar terms although the lease may be updated if appropriate.

However, there are certain exceptions where a landlord can refuse a new tenancy and reclaim the property from the tenant.

It pays to be prepared and a professional property consultant can help you with this. All Colliers International’s surveyors comply with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) best practice statements and civil procedural rules.

How we can help?

HS Legal Solicitors will negotiate directly with landlords on your behalf on lease renewals and terminations. We will ensure that all rent assessment requirements are met and help to secure the lease that works best for you. We can also give you advice on service charges when multi-occupied commercial premises are concerned. Our team has experience of negotiating terms that are in the best interest of our clients and will advise you accordingly based upon your circumstances.

If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to lease renewals, then please contact on 01206500181.




Deed of Variations

A Deed of Variations allows changes to a lease without the need to sign a whole new lease. One of our dedicated experts will guide you through the process of extending a lease to ensure that the legal process is upheld and that the outcome is favourable for you and that your interests are protected at all times.

What is deed of variations?

A Deed of Variations is a standard document for use where a landlord and a tenant agree to vary the terms of their lease. It provides a framework that can be used by the parties to document the particular changes that they have agreed.

Where Deed of Variations is is not suitable?

This Deed of Variations is not suitable for use where the parties wish to increase or decrease the length of term of the lease or to increase or decrease the extent of the premises.

Why does a lease need to be varied?

There can be various reasons for change. Common reasons with long residential property leases are that, on sale, it is discovered that there is an error in the Lease or its plan and this needs to be corrected to satisfy a buyer or lender. Another common reason is that, whilst the terms of the lease may have been appropriate for the law when the lease was granted, perhaps 30 years ago or more, they are no longer compliant with good or safe legal practice today, or perceived risks for leaseholders or lenders.


How we can help?

There are many reasons why a lease may need to be varied – whatever those reasons if you need an experienced opinion on whether you need to vary and a fast, competitive lawyer, get in contact with us.