Part 7Alterations to the property
Planning permission is not always required if you wish to make
alterations to the property - for example if you want to make
changes to the inside of the building or minor alterations to the
outside. Also, a specific application is not needed if you want to
put up low walls or fences, although you should always check
whether building regulations are required by contacting the
building control section at your local authority.
However, planning permission is generally required if you want
to extend, convert or change the external nature of the premises.
It is always a good idea to check with your local planning
authority whether the development will require planning permission
at the proposal stage. The majority of significant building work
also has to conform to building regulations.
Before you start any alteration work, you should check the
details of the lease. You may need to get permission from the
landlord. Unless the lease expressly prohibits improvements, the
landlord may not unreasonably withhold consent to tenants'
improvements. Also, you should clarify whether you will be required
to reinstate the property to its original condition before the
You should also check whether the works you are planning will
alter your rateable value. The rateable value of business premises
is based on their open market rental value. Changing your premises
may affect this.
You also need to be aware of liability for repairs. If you rent
workspace in multi-occupancy premises, liability for external
repairs and maintaining common areas is likely to fall with the
landlord. Check the terms of the lease to find out who is
You should also check the rental agreement to see whether there
is any repair work pending. You may decide to commission a survey
and ensure that any such work is finished before the rental
agreement is signed in order to avoid paying the bill.
Read our guide Buying business premises.