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The Vital Role of a Building Surveyor in A License for Alterations


When it comes to making alterations to a building, whether it's a residential property or a commercial space, there are numerous legal and regulatory requirements that must be met. One crucial aspect of this process is obtaining a License for Alterations.

In this article, we will delve into the vital role of a building surveyor in securing a License for Alterations and ensuring that the proposed changes meet all necessary standards and regulations.

Understanding the License for Alterations

A License for Alterations is a formal document that grants permission to an individual or organization to make specific alterations to a property. These alterations can range from structural changes, such as adding extensions or changing load-bearing walls, to more minor modifications like electrical rewiring or plumbing updates. The purpose of the license is to ensure that alterations are carried out safely, in compliance with building codes, and do not negatively impact neighboring properties.

In most leases there are conditions for applying and approving alterations, which both landlord and tenant must follow. Usually, the tenant must apply for a license to be approved by the landlord.

The Role of a Building Surveyor

  1. Initial Assessment:

The process of obtaining a License for Alterations typically begins with an initial assessment of the proposed changes. A building surveyor plays a crucial role in this phase by evaluating the feasibility of the alterations and assessing their potential impact on building. The surveyor must consider the structure, fabric, mechanical and electrical, fire etc. This assessment is vital to determine whether the alterations can be carried out safely and in compliance with building regulations.

1. Regulatory Compliance:

Building surveyors are well-versed in local building codes and regulations. They ensure that the proposed alterations align with these standards. This includes verifying that the changes meet fire safety, accessibility, and environmental requirements. They also consider the impact on neighboring properties, ensuring that no adverse effects occur. While the tenant must make any necessary applications to building control, it is the landlord's surveyor who ensures this part of the process has been suitably adhered to.

2. Documentation and Plans:

Building surveyors are responsible for creating detailed plans and documentation of the proposed alterations. These plans must be submitted as part of the License for Alterations application. The plans should include architectural drawings, structural calculations, and any other relevant information necessary for a thorough review. The landlord's surveyor will review and comment on the proposals, and there is usually some discussion around the appropriateness of the plans.

3. Risk Mitigation:

One of the key roles of a building surveyor is to identify and mitigate potential risks associated with the proposed alterations. They ensure that safety measures are in place during construction and that the final alterations meet all safety standards. This is crucial to protect the occupants of the building and maintain its structural integrity.


In the process of obtaining a License for Alterations, a building surveyor plays a pivotal role in ensuring that proposed changes to a building meet all legal and safety requirements. Their expertise in assessing the feasibility of alterations, ensuring regulatory compliance, and managing the documentation and communication with authorities is indispensable. By working closely with a qualified building surveyor, property owners can navigate the complexities of obtaining a License for Alterations smoothly and with confidence, knowing that their project is in capable hands.

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