Under the terms of your lease it is mandatory that you obtain written consent from Barnet Homes to carry out internal alterations or improvements to your home. This is because the landlord has to protect the structure and safety of the building and a duty of care to residents. Failure to obtain consent could mean that you are in breach of your lease and could face legal proceedings.
It is in your best interest to discuss any home improvement plans with Barnet Homes before committing to the works, especially as solicitors will ask for landlords consents for any alterations you have undertaken when you sell your leasehold property.
In addition you may also need planning permission, and/or building control approval. For further details on this check the London Borough of Barnet website.
What types of work need landlord consent?
Below are examples of the types of work which you will have to obtain our consent for before carrying out work:
- Alterations relating to the plumbing, gas, water and electricity resulting in changes to internal supply pipes and circuits
- Any addition or alteration to the layout or structure of your flat
- Any alteration to the outside of your flat including a new vent for your boiler or a satellite dish
- Installing new flooring excluding carpet
- Installing a new kitchen or bathroom
- Removal of any internal walls
- Installing down lighters
- Any extension beyond the existing building line
If you are in the process of completing any works these must cease immediately if you have not already obtained permission.
The list above is not exhaustive; further details are available on the Barnet Homes website. To request an alteration pack please contact the Leasehold Service team; alternatively the application form and Method statement are available to download here. The alterations application fee must be paid before your application can be considered. Multiple alterations can be included as part of the same application. Consent will be communicated in writing and no work should take place until the decision has been made.
Please send your completed alteration application form and associated documents to the Leasehold Services team at Barnet Homes 1255 High Road Whetstone London N20 0EJ or email it to: LHS@barnethomes.org
Important: If you have carried out home improvements without first seeking our consent, you will need to contact Barnet Homes immediately;you will be asked to submit a retrospective application. If the alterations/improvements you have carried out are found to be unsafe, compromising the building or adversely affecting you neighbours or their properties you may be asked to put the property back to its pre-work condition. If we have concerns about the works you have carried out either with or without our consent, we have the right to enter and inspect your flat once we have given you reasonable notice of our intention to do so.
Barnet Homes will not sell the loft space. The loft void is not demised to you unless you purchased it from Barnet Homes. Therefore you must not to access this area or carry out any works to it.
If you are aware of anyone carrying out unauthorised alterations or have any concerns in this regard, please inform Barnet Homes on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8080 6587.
Purchase of Loft Space
Barnet Homes have taken the decision not to allow our leaseholders to purchase the loft space. The London Borough of Barnet may grant planning permission but Barnet Homes will not give landlords consent based on the below points.
- The loft space is not part of the lease demise (i.e. the property that you have purchased). This means that you would be taking over a space that is not part of your original purchase.
- In many instances the loft space contains services which may be shared between the flats within the block or which are of sole benefit to another dwelling. Examples of this include shared water tanks or individual water tanks – one per dwelling within the
- The external fabric of the building is the responsibility of Barnet Homes to maintain. In the case of an extension (other than a loft extension) it is generally clear that the roof is of sole benefit of the extension only so the maintenance can be reasonably dealt with through an amendment to the lease (deed of variation). This is not the case with loft extensions where dormer or Velux type windows are involved which results in split responsibility where it is unclear and difficult to define. Once a loft conversion is constructed it is there for the remaining life of the building and can therefore result in long term legacy issues – for example other properties in the building will not want to pay towards maintaining something from which they get no benefit of (such as a Velux window). However, making you take on responsibility for maintaining this element would not be possible as it would have a direct impact on the roof and vice versa (i.e. any works to the roof would affect the windows).
- Similar issues would apply to the party wall – if this was extended in height (as would be the case if the loft conversion ran the full width of the property)
- Fire engineering – our ability to ensure that fire measures are in place and effective at the time of the build and also maintained for the remainder of the building life would be limited.
- The loft conversion would create areas of the roof which can no longer be accessed.
- Appearance – generally all roof lines follow the same plan/level on our stock. Loft conversations may not be built to the same designs/standards.