Commercial lease alteration and improvement disputes in Scotland
Produced in partnership with Mark Davenport of DLA Piper
Commercial lease alteration and improvement disputes in Scotland

The following Property Disputes practice note Produced in partnership with Mark Davenport of DLA Piper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Commercial lease alteration and improvement disputes in Scotland
  • Consent and withholding consent
  • Removal
  • Ownership of improvements
  • Compensation
  • Rent review implications
  • Documenting alterations and consent
  • Other considerations
  • Break notices
  • Insurance

This Practice Note examines the issues surrounding alterations and improvements to property in Scotland subject to a commercial lease.

Consent and withholding consent

When granting a lease of commercial property, a landlord will often wish to ensure that certain alterations are not undertaken to the property by the tenant without landlord consent. A landlord will seek to maintain control over its property, particularly in respect of external appearance and structural integrity, often seeking to include an absolute prohibition on such work in the lease or requiring that landlord consent is obtained to such alterations by the tenant prior to such works being carried out. Internal and non-structural alterations are often permitted without consent, however, for this to be applicable there must be express provision to this effect in the lease and such provisions usually still require the tenant to give the landlord notification of such alterations in order that it can consider the effect which any such permitted alteration may have on its insurance, see Practice Notes: Alteration provisions in commercial leases in Scotland and Insurance provisions in commercial leases—Scotland.

Even where a lease does not contain specific conditions requiring landlord consent to be obtained prior to any tenant alteration, the common law requirement not to use the property beyond the purpose for which it has been let, restricts the tenant to making only minor alterations

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