advice on renovating council flat

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    I would like to renovate a council flat.
    Ideally I would like to remove a wall (which is probably loadbearing).
    Thereafter move the kitchen, possibly add a WC and redecorate the entire flat – refloor etc.

    Does anyone have experience with this – how it works, where should I start.
    Id also be keen to know if you had good/bad experiences dealing with the housing officer(s) etc. – are they helpful, is the process smooth/difficult, lenghy or timely.

    Ultimately I feel the work will greatly imrprove the flat and the space, so Id imagine it wouldnt be detrimental to the value of the flat,
    but concerned that beraucrocy and/or regulation will prohibit my plans

    any advice, experience, knowledge, tips – greatly appreciated.

    Cindy Zee


    I wanted to remove a cupboard, I was advised to send a drawing for what I would like to do, before and after to my Estate officer. If you would like to remove a supporting wall then you have to have professional plans and get permission from the planing department.


    For what it’s worth Camden Council have some information on their website which may help:


    First thing to say is that there is a complete guide to making alterations to your leasehold property on the Camden council website. Click on (or touch) “Housing”, click on “I am a leaseholder”, click on “Making improvements to your property”. We made substantial alterations to our flat 15 years ago, but the procedures are still the same. Camden is your landlord and you have to do what they require as a landlord, as written in your lease. Camden is also responsible for building control (this applies to all buildings in the borough). What you want to do (remove a structural wall; install a WC) requires the permission of the landlord, but also requires building permission. You need plans drawn up for everything you want to do. You need a cost estimate for doing the works (building control application fees relate to the cost of works). If you want to remove a load-bearing wall, you may need a structural surveyors report to say that what you intend to do is OK. You make an application to Leaseholder Services for landlords permission (fixed fee). You make an application to Building Control for building permission (fee dependent on works cost). Don’t do anything until you have permission! Last thing, if your lease has a plan of the flat and you intend to change the partitions and walls, you will have to pay the legal costs of changing the lease.


    (Double submitted my post do clearing this one as cant seem to delete)


    Thx so much for the info!
    I did see those links but was a bit confused with the options.

    I did email a housing officer who mentioned Id need planning which was confusing as I assumed I just require build control.

    Would I start with building control, once that was approved then landlords consent and finally lease change?

    Also did you find the council quite responsive and agreeable to changes or was it a struggle to get cooperation. Is there a way I can find out what changes would be frowned upon in advance, so I dont waste time and money with building regs?
    Assuming I do get building regs and the new design is an improvement on living space, can the freeholder still refuse?



    It took seven months from our first contact with Leasehold Services to obtain the Licence for Alterations. The advice is that you should not start works until this is issued. We started work in the fifth month when it became clear that landlord’s consent was going to be given. The advice back then was that building permission had to be obtained before you applied for landlord’s consent. The current guidance seems to be to that you need to find out if landlord’s approval is likely to be given before applying for building permission. There was no opposition to our proposals from Housing Services, it’s just a slow (and expensive) process. Building permission was obtained in three weeks. Our plans were drawn up by an architect, who made the building control application.


    Much appreciated peterwickenden.

    Thats helpful.

    Any idea on what alterations the coucil would reject?
    If the plans pass building regs and make for a more practical space, could the council arbritrarly refuse?

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