Alterations to council properties

We want you to keep to your lease or tenancy agreement. If you’re a secure tenant or leaseholder of a Hammersmith & Fulham Council property and want to make alterations to your home, you must get the council’s consent before starting any works, otherwise you could face serious consequences including legal action.

Fixed term tenants cannot make any alterations.

You may also need licences for scaffolding and skips on council land, party wall notices, and other matters such as rights to light, crane over-sailings and agreements with utility companies. 

Getting consent to make alterations

Loft conversion, extensions, or basement conversions

Getting retrospective consent

Getting a licence to put scaffolding, skips, builders’ materials or tower cranes on council land

Carrying out works affecting an adjoining wall in your building

Enforcement

What we charge

How to get landlord’s consent to make alterations

If you’re a secure tenant or leaseholder of a Hammersmith & Fulham Council building and want to make alterations to your home, you must get the council’s permission before starting any works.

This is part of your lease or tenancy agreement. If you don’t keep to it, you could face serious consequences including legal action. If you make alterations without consent, you could also have problems if you decide to sell the property, exchange it or buy it under the right to buy scheme.

‘Landlord's consent’ is not the same as planning consent or building regulations consent, which you may also need. Find out about more on planning consent and building regulations approval.

Consent for minor alterations

  • Internal non-structural works which don’t require building control approval or planning permission is called a minor alteration. To make minor alterations, you must apply for a landlord’s consent to alterations and the council will consider whether it would be possible to issue a letter licence.

Consent for major alterations

  • Works requiring building control approval or planning permission is called a major alteration. Examples include loft extensions, excavation of basements and extensions into the garden. To make major alterations, you must apply for a full licence.

To apply, please complete the relevant form below. See also the checklist of documentation required.

For a detailed explanation of the process of getting landlord’s consent, please read the applying for landlord's consent process map (pdf). This outlines the steps involved and gives an estimated timeframe for landlord's consent to be granted.

If you need any help completing the form or need more information, please contact us on 0208753 4005 or housing.propertycompliance@lbhf.gov.uk

Thinking about a loft conversion, extension, or basement conversion?

You should first check your lease to make sure the area you want to build on is included in your lease. You aren’t allowed to build on any communal ground shared with other building users.

Leases don’t include loft spaces. To do any work or use the loft area, you would need to apply to buy it from us. It’s the council’s decision whether to sell you the space or grant a licence. You should consult with your neighbours before contacting us as any objections could affect our decision.

For more information about buying your loft space or any development rights to excavate basements or erect extensions into your garden, please see leaseholder aftersales or contact H&F Homebuy on 020 8753 6464 or h&fHome-Buy@lbhf.gov.uk

What should I do if I’ve made changes to my home without getting landlord’s consent?

If you’ve already done works without obtaining consent, you must get in contact with us immediately. Failure to do so may result in legal proceedings.

You’ll need to apply for retrospective consent. We may grant you a licence for retrospective consent if the work that‘s been done meets certain criteria and workmanship standards. We’ll assess your application and decide whether we can grant consent. We may ask you to carry out additional work, remove or reinstate recent work before we can give you retrospective consent.

For a detailed explanation of this process, please see the retrospective consent process map (pdf) which outlines the steps involved and gives an estimated timeframe for a licence to be granted.

If you need any help completing the form or would like more information, please contact us on 020 8753 4005 or housing.propertycompliance@lbhf.gov.uk

You will need a licence if you want to put scaffolding, skips or builders’ materials on council land

If you want to put scaffolding, skips or builders’ materials on council land or if it affects council property, you’ll need a licence.

The fee for this type of licence varies and the amount you pay depends on the extent of land or property affected and the length of time the licence is needed.

We need written consent from other residents in the building who would be affected by the work. It can help us issue the licence faster if you get this yourself. 

For a scaffolding licence, please provide the following information by email to housing.propertycompliance@lbhf.gov.uk:

  • The date you plan to put up the scaffold
  • The date you expect to the scaffold to come down by
  •  A technical description of the scaffolding and where you plan to put it
  • The name of the scaffolding contractor, its ‘responsible person’ and all the relevant insurance certificates eg.
  • A method statement from the scaffolder for putting up, using and taking down of the scaffold
  • Drawings of scaffolding (including plans, elevations, and sections) along with photos of the area/land affected by the scaffolding.
  • Recommended: written consent of any residents in the building who would be affected by the scaffolding or skip, for example where their access way, bin area or garden would be affected.

The following conditions may be part of your scaffolding licence:

  • It is required that all residents of the building should be given two weeks’ notice before the scaffold goes up. This notice should advise that residents may need to notify their home insurance company of the increased risk of burglary, which may be required under the conditions of their insurance policy.
  • A copy of the handover certificate must be passed to the area housing officer along with details of the scaffold contractor, for use in the event of an emergency.
  • Before work starts, the contractors’ construction management plan must be submitted to us. The plan should include safe access details, safe working areas, material delivery and waste removal procedures and locations, dust monitoring and control and provisions to make sure access to all communal areas is maintained during the work.  All works must be carried out in accordance with the approved plan.
  • All building materials must be stored safely and not obstruct communal or public areas and stairways.
  • All windows and sills are cleaned before removing the scaffold.
  • The licence holder must reposition any satellite dishes fixed to the building so residents can still receive satellite service whilst works take place.

For a skip or storage of builders' material licence, please provide the following information by email:

  • The date you estimate the work will start and finish
  • The plans for how you plan to store the materials or skip
  • Photos of the area/land affected
  • Required: written consent of any residents in the building who would be affected by the scaffolding or skip, for example where their access way, bin area or garden would be affected.

Please send all documentation to us by email at housing.propertycompliance@lbhf.gov.uk

If you need to use a tower crane to carry out works, you need to apply for a crane over-sailing licence. Please contact us for more information.

Are you planning to carry out works affecting a wall in your building?

If you want to carry out works which may affect adjoining properties’ walls, it’s important you read the following guidance on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (PDF)

Party Wall etc Act guidance (PDF)

You may need to serve Party wall notices on the council and any adjoining owners.

To serve a Party Wall notice on the council, please send notices and related documents by post only (see Section 15(1)(c) of the Party Wall Act), to the following address:

Property Compliance Team
The Economy Department
Hammersmith & Fulham Council
3rd Floor Hammersmith Town Hall Extension
King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9JU

Due to the current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) we are now accepting electronic notices and documents.

If the council property adjoining your building has leaseholders, you must also serve party wall notices on those leaseholders as adjoining owners (within the meaning of the Party Wall Act - see section 20).

If you need more information, please contact us on 020 8753 4005 or housing.propertycompliance@lbhf.gov.uk

Enforcement

The property compliance team investigate breaches and enforcement of leases and complaints about work being carried out. If you have a complaint, please speak to your housing officer first. They will refer you to us if necessary.

What we charge

Fees for a landlord’s licence vary depending on the complexity of the work and include the surveyors’ fees, administration fees and legal fees for preparing the licence.

View the schedule of our fees and charges (pdf) 

Our new charging policy takes effect from 1 of April 2019.

A non-refundable application consideration fee will be required for the initial assessment. Please include signed and dated proof of payment for the application consideration fee with the application form.

If your application becomes more complicated due to unforeseeable factors, we may need to revise our charges. We will notify you before the fees are increased.

If your application is successful, you will be charged another fee for the preparation and instruction to our legal services for issuing the licence. This includes reviewing the conditions of the licence, preparation of the care and consideration document, liaison with our solicitors and surveyor’s fee to sign off your work after it is completed. This excludes any legal fees incurred by the legal department with preparation of the licence.

The legal fees for preparation of the licence are charged on an hourly basis. The hourly rate for legal officers is £65 per hour and for solicitors is £85 per hour. Following referral of the case to the legal department, the legal officer will review the instructions for the preparation of the licence and provide you with an estimate of the legal fees. The final legal fees will be confirmed at the conclusion of the matter.

These figures are approximate and are for guidance purposes only. You will be asked to pay the exact fees when the draft licence is sent to you.

The above charges do not include fees and premiums from other council departments such as Home Buy, Legal Services, Corporate Property Services, Building Control, Planning Department, Environmental Health, etc. and do not include the fees for any supplemental lease or deed of variation for lifting restrictive covenants in your lease.

Please contact the H&F Home Buy team for fees for supplemental leases and deeds of variation (020 8753 6464 or h&fHome-Buy@lbhf.gov.uk).

How to pay

You can pay our fees and charges by cheque or by BACS (a bank transfer).

Cheques must be made payable to London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and sent by post to the Property Compliance Team (please see address above).

If you prefer paying by BACS, our bank details are as follows:

  • Name: London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Sort code: 60 50 06 - A/C no. 11402598
  • Swift code: NWBKGB2L – IBAN: GB86NWBK605006911402598

Please use the registration number of your application as reference in order for us to locate the payment (if you do not have your registration number yet, please call us and ask for it).

Fees need to be paid within five working days of the date of our request.

What you must do

  • Comply with the terms of your lease (or tenancy agreement) at all times
  • If you are required to submit additional documents or information you must ensure you provide this in one submission to us within twenty-eight calendar days of the date of our request otherwise your application will be closed
  • Discuss your plans with your neighbours and deal quickly and sympathetically with any complaints from other residents. Such complaints to be reported to us within 24 hours
  • No works must start until the licence is issued
  • Comply with terms of the licence following the issue. The council may take enforcement action for any breaches of the terms of the lease or of the licence

Ensure that when undertaking works you do not cause any damage to the property, any adjoining properties and communal areas of the building. If you cause any damage, you must cooperate with the Property Compliance Team to remedy and put right the damage to the council properties, communal areas of your building and to any adjoining properties.