A NEW protocol under 'Consent for Alterations' has recently been launched, which sets guidelines as to the process regarding applications by tenants of commercial properties, for consent to make alterations to their premises.
The new protocol applies where a tenant wishes to carry out alterations, but where its lease restricts its ability to do so.
The aim of the protocol is to ensure that sufficient information is provided, allowing a tenant’s application for alterations to proceed quickly and without dispute.
The protocol is not legally binding. However, it is intended to be widely adopted in the industry, with the effect of speeding up tenant’s applications and helping landlords and tenants avoid costly and unnecessary disputes.
Essentially the protocol provides that the tenant’s application should contain sufficient details, including a description of the proposed works together with plans, drawings and specification where necessary, so that the landlord can determine what the tenant is requesting consent for.
An acknowledgement of the tenant’s application should then be provided by the landlord within five working days and the landlord should respond, confirming whether consent for the alteration is granted (and specify any conditions attached) or whether consent is withheld and/or refused and on what grounds.
Where consent is withheld the on the grounds of a lack of information, the landlord should then specify what further information is required.
The new protocol also deals with the issues of costs and dispute resolution.
If you are a tenant and need to make alterations to your commercial premises and are not sure how you should proceed, or if you are a landlord who has received an application for alterations from you tenant and are unsure as to how you should respond, then please do not hesitate to contact our Landlord & Tenant team who are happy to be able to guide you through the process.