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Alterations and Improvements to Your Home

Getting permission 

Under the terms of your lease, written permission is required before making any alterations or additions to your home.  Written permission is required for any work that will alter the structure or layout of your home; even if the work will not affect the main structure of the property, such as removing an internal wall. 

Once we have received details of what you propose to do, we will process your application against a criteria agreed with Islington Council and advise if consent can be granted. You can read the criteria here.

If consent is granted, you will need a legal document called a Licence to Alter to be prepared and signed off before works can commence. In some cases, you may also need a Deed of Variation.

The alterations process can be confusing. This process map explains what should happen:

Major structural changes – Islington Council’s Building Control approval

Thinking of carrying out the following works:

  • Excavation of garden area to create underground rooms
  • Loft space alteration
  • Flat roof / roof terraces alterations
  • Cellar alterations
  • Creation of basements by excavation
  • Additional storey/room to property.

If you are proposing to carry out any of the above works, you are required to first seek approval from Islington Council’s Building Control team before we can process your alterations application.

This list is not exhaustive and it is the leaseholder’s responsibility to check if their proposed work needs to comply with the Building Regulations and whether a Building Control Notice needs to be submitted before work starts.

Islington Council’s Building Control team must be engaged for building regulations approval via the Full Plans application route. The following documents are required: full structural engineers report including drawings/plans, calculations and a method statement (method of excavation/construction) by a qualified structural engineer. 

To apply, please visit Islington Council’s website:


 Additional information including fees:


Note: Any costs incurred during the alterations approval process are non-refundable irrespective of the outcome and does not constitute landlord’s consent.

If you are carrying out the above work, please include Building Control’s approval/decision note from Islington Council with your alterations application.

if you have any questions please read Islington's Frequently Asked Questions.   

When you need a Licence to Alter

Changing the structure or layout of your home
- For all structural work, such as building an extension or converting a loft.
- If you intend to alter the internal layout of your home.
- Changing the use of a room
The Council does not normally allow residents to change the use of a room, for example using a bedroom as a living room. This is because most flats have a similar layout; bedrooms are above bedrooms and living rooms are above living rooms, which helps minimise noise nuisance. Having a living room above a bedroom may create noise nuisance for neighbours.
However, the use of a room may be changed if: 

  • It can be proved that there is a complementary layout in the flat below 
  • The proposed works are in a maisonette and the proposed works only affect your property


When you do not need a Licence to Alter
you do not need a Licence to Alter for general internal decoration, renewal or replacement work for anything like for like e.g. kitchen units and bathroom suites.
You will need our written permission for work that may create a nuisance to neighbours, such as replacing existing flooring with wood, stone or ceramic tiles. Read our Bothered By Noise leaflet to find out more about flooring requirements.
What is a Deed of Variation?
A Deed of Variation is required when you intend to build an extension, install new windows, put in Velux windows in the loft or purchase additional land. The Deed of Variation makes you responsible for all future repair, renewal and maintenance work to the applicable areas.

Doing work without the required permissions 
If you do work without getting the required permissions including landlord's consent from Partners, you will be in breach of the terms and conditions of your lease. You may also be breaking Planning and Building Control regulations. If this happens, Partners or the Council may:
Order you to return your home to the condition it was in before you did the work, or take court action against you.

If court action is taken against you, you will have to pay all the legal and building costs involved.
Other permissions you may need to apply for
As well as getting our permission, you may also need to get planning permission from the Council acting in their role as the local planning authority. You may also need approval from Building Control, including a Building Notice. Please note that neither Building Control nor Planning Permission constitute as landlord's consent from Partners.

Before applying for our permission, we recommend you contact the Council’s Planning and Building Control Departments to discuss your proposed works with them.
When we cannot process your application for permission 
We cannot process an application for permission if you owe any service charges including major works. If this applies to you, you will need to contact the Accounts Team to discuss clearing your arrears first.
Extensions, conservatories and lofts
If you want to build an extension, a conservatory or convert a loft space, you need to check that you own the space you want to alter. For example, if the garden is shared, you will not be allowed to build an extension over it. The loft is not usually included in the ownership of an individual flat, even if it seems that only you have access to it. In these instances, you would need to ask us if you can buy any space not currently demised in your lease.

Please read the section on buying land and extra space.

The stages of getting permission to alter your home
Stage 1
If you want to complete any alterations to your property please contact the Home Ownership Team.

The Home Ownership Team will do some initial checks and let you know whether your proposed alterations are in line with the Council’s current alteration criteria.
Stage 2
Once we have received your completed application and relevant supporting documentation, we will pass this to our Asset Manager who will provide us with recommendations about your application. These recommendations may include site inspections. Please see below for more about our fees.
Stage 3
If we are happy for you to continue with your proposed alterations, we will provide you with consent and if required ask you to send us a payment for the Council’s legal fees of preparing your Licence to Alter and Deed of Variation. See below for more about fees.
Stage 4
If applicable the Council’s Legal Department will contact you and/or your solicitor and draw up your Licence to Alter and/or Deed of Variation. The Licence to Alter will give you permission to do the proposed work and will state any conditions for the building work and future maintenance. You should not commence any work until you have received your completed Licence to Alter.
Stage 5
Once the work has been completed, if required under the terms of the Licence to Alter you should contact the Home Ownership Team to arrange a final post-work inspection. See below for more about fees.

Cheques for the Licence to Alter and Deed of Variation should be made payable to Islington Council and not to Partners or Hyde Housing Association.


Please note that these fees are reviewed annually by Islington Council and are subject to change.

Valuation or Revised Plans are payable to Islington Council. Please contact the Home Ownership team for the correct bank details and for further information.

For all other fees, please call  Partners Home Ownership Team and pay by debit or credit card over the phone. Where payments are due to Islington Council, contact us for their bank transfer details and associated payment codes.



Last updated 3.4.24