Frequently Asked Questions

Your ground rent is paid directly into your landlord's bank account, which fulfils your legal obligations to your landlord. Our banking services are supplied by London-based bank, Coutts & Co, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

A receipt is sent to your registered email address immediately after you make a successful online payment. If you do not receive one, or if you pay through the automated phone line or by cheque, you will need to ask us to send you a receipt. You can access your payment summary through your account on the HomeGround portal.

To make a payment via bank transfer, please use the following details:

Bank Name: Coutts

Account Name: HomeGround Management Limited
Account Number: 04046315
Sort Code: 18-00-02

IBAN: GB74 COUT 180002 04046315

Reference: Your 12-character customer reference

Important: When making your payment, it is crucial to include your unique 12-character customer reference in the payment reference field. This reference ensures that your payment is correctly allocated to your account. Failure to include this reference may result in delays or misallocation of your funds.

If you do not include your 12-character customer reference, we may not be able to allocate your payment to your account promptly. This could lead to delays in processing your payment or your payment being incorrectly applied to another account. To avoid any issues, please double-check that your 12-character customer reference is correctly entered.

Your 12-character customer reference can be found on your welcome letter, invoice or almost any communication from HomeGround. If you are unsure or cannot find it, please contact our customer service team for assistance.

Yes, you can make a payment from an international bank account using the IBAN and SWIFT/BIC details provided above. Please ensure to include your 12-character customer reference in the payment reference field.

We can only accept British Pounds (GBP) at this time. If your bank account is in a different currency, please arrange for the conversion to British Pounds before making the transfer. Additionally, please ensure that any fees associated with the currency conversion or the international transfer are covered by you. This will ensure that the full amount of your payment is received and properly credited to your account without any delays.

If you have any questions or need assistance with the process, please don't hesitate to contact our customer service team. We are here to help!

If your payment is delayed or misallocated, please contact our customer service team immediately. Provide them with the details of your transaction, including the date, amount, and your 12-character customer reference. We will work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Payments should be made by the due date specified on your invoice. Please allow sufficient time for your bank to process the transfer, which may take several business days, especially for international payments. It is recommended to make payment a week before due if you are paying via bank transfer.

Always include your 12-character customer reference to avoid any delays.

Residential leases

A typical lease contains restrictions on what a leaseholder can do with their property, including making changes or alterations. The restrictions are not only for the benefit of estate residents and for estate conformity, but also to make sure that any alterations do not adversely affect the structure of the house, insurability of the building or its neighbours.

Normally, the landlord needs to give prior written approval, or consent, for alterations to the property. Flats may need this for any alterations and houses may need this for exterior alterations (including extensions) and alterations to the internal structure. Whether consent is required depends on the alterations you wish to make and the terms of your lease, so each application is looked at individually.

Commercial Leases

Depending on the lease terms, most alterations to a property (including signage) will need the landlord’s prior written approval (a licence for alterations).

Some alterations are entirely prohibited (in which case the landlord has no obligation to grant consent); others may be permitted subject to the landlord’s consent; in some cases consent cannot be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

How to Proceed

HomeGround's Consents Team deals with these requests for alterations on behalf of the landlord, on a day-to-day basis.

You can get in touch with the team through the online enquiry form or by post at HomeGround Management Ltd, PO Box 6433, London W1A 2UZ.

For speed, we highly recommend that you use the enquiry form rather than apply by post. Alteration requests cannot be accepted over the phone as we need them in writing.

Residential Leases

A licence to alter is written consent from the landlord for you to carry out alterations to your flat. It can be either a letter (a Letter Licence) or a formal Licence Deed (see FAQ). Both are legal documents that record what is being agreed and any conditions attached to the consent. Any drawings, plans and supporting documents that have been reviewed will be attached to the document.

It is important to get a Licence to Alter if your lease requires it because:

  1. If you carry out the alterations without one, you may be in breach of the terms of your lease and legal action may be taken against you. You may have to either put the property back to how it was before you carried out the alterations or to compensate the landlord for any loss of value to the property as a result of the works. You may also lose your lease. Whatever the outcome, it will probably cost you a significant sum of money.
  2. You may find it difficult to sell your property as the buyer’s solicitors will ask to see evidence that you have complied with the terms of your lease.
  3. It is more expensive to get retrospective consent for alterations.
  4. You may be in breach of your mortgage conditions.

Commercial Leases

If the landlord agrees in principle to the alterations then, usually, they need to instruct their solicitors to prepare a Licence for Alterations. This is a legally binding document and will need to be executed by all parties as a deed.

For some minor works (e.g. signage), HomeGround can issue a letter licence. This is a short, but legally binding, document that sets out the terms of the consent.

Each request for alterations is treated on a case-by-case basis and HomeGround and the landlord will decide which form of licence is the most appropriate for your alterations.

Our online request for alterations form is easy and convenient to use. You can upload supporting documents, provide details about the proposed alterations and even pay the alterations fee. To access the online form you need to have a personal account on the HomeGround Portal.

Residential Leases

We charge a non-refundable, initial assessment fee of £120 for flats or £60 for houses to review your request for alterations form. This fee must be paid in full during the application process.

Commercial Leases

We charge a non-refundable, initial assessment fee of £250 to review your commercial alterations request form and supporting documents. As part of the review process, we send the application and all supporting documents to our client’s surveyors for evaluation and they charge £875+VAT to produce the required Due Diligence Report.

Both fees must be paid in full at the time of application. If it becomes apparent that a letter licence is appropriate, we will refund you the Due Diligence Report fee.

This initial assessment is vital to determine: whether the landlord can grant consent; what conditions need to be attached; and whether a letter licence or a licence deed is needed.

As part of the review, we look at the details of the proposed works (including any plans and drawings), the terms of your lease, the title to your property and the title to the landlord’s property (including any alterations terms in a headlease, if one exists).

To register for a personal account you need your alphanumeric security key and your 12-digit customer reference number. You can find these on your HomeGround invoice or your welcome letter and you can register here.

If you have already registered on our portal and need help with your password, please click here.

Although we recommend that you use the forms on the online portal, you can get in touch with the consents team through this contact form or by post at:

HomeGround Management Ltd
PO Box 6433
London W1A 2UZ

We can then send you the form for alterations by email or post.

Residential Leases

Once we have reviewed your request for alterations form, we will contact you to confirm whether:

  1. The landlord agrees in principle with the proposed alterations and will give you a licence to alter;
  2. The landlord will give you a Letter Licence or a Licence Deed (for further details see FAQ What is the difference between a Letter Licence and a Licence Deed?);
  3. A management company and/or superior landlord also needs to give consent (for further details see FAQ Will I need to get consent from anybody else?);
  4. Further documents are needed in order to give you the licence to alter;
  5. There are estimated costs for giving you the licence to alter;
  6. Any premium is applicable;
  7. The landlord is unable to give consent to the alterations and why – no further sums will be due and we will be unable to proceed with your application;
  8. The landlord’s consent is not required for the proposed alterations (please note that the initial assessment fee is non-refundable).

Commercial Leases

HomeGround will only be able to review your application if you have supplied all the necessary information at the start of the process. After review, we will contact you to confirm whether:

  1. The landlord agrees in principle with the proposed alterations;
  2. There are any conditions attached to the consent;
  3. A superior landlord, management company and/or guarantor need to be party to the licence for alterations;
  4. There are estimated costs for providing the licence for alterations;
  5. Any premium is applicable (see FAQ Will I have to pay a premium to the landlord?);
  6. In accordance with the lease terms, the landlord’s consent is not required;
  7. The landlord is unable to grant a licence and why – no further sums will be due and we will be unable to proceed with your application.

Letter Licence

This is usually for minor alterations (the table below shows examples) and includes all the conditions you must meet.

A Letter Licence is produced by HomeGround on behalf of the landlord and you need to sign and return it to HomeGround before you can begin any alterations.

Licence Deed

This is required for more complex works, for major works or where a variation might be required to the terms of the lease or if other parties are involved, such as a superior landlord or where the landlord is not the freeholder (see FAQ Will I need to get consent from anybody else?).

A Licence Deed is drafted by the landlord’s solicitors and it will need to be executed as a legal deed by you and the other parties.

The landlord will also instruct a surveyor to review your proposal and to prepare a report that confirms the intended works will:

  1. Houses
    1. not create a risk to the structure of the house
    2. not adversely affect the estate in any way.
  2. Flats
    1. not create a risk to the building
    2. not create a risk to the other leaseholders.

We will let you know if the surveyor needs to visit your property to discuss the proposed alterations with you and/or your representatives. They surveyor's recommendations will be in incorporated in the Licence Deed.

HomeGround do not act as surveyors and are not qualified to advise landlords on plans and drawings for proposed works. It is essential that these are professionally reviewed to ensure the safety of the building and those who live in it.

Each request for alterations is treated on a case-by-case basis and HomeGround and the landlord will decide which licence is most appropriate for your application.

Examples of alterations which typically fall under either a Letter Licence or a Licence Deed (please note, this list is not exhaustive):

Letter Licence Licence Deed
Replacing existing windows or doors Conservatories and orangeries
Replacing a boiler and related flue Converting a garage into living space (such as a bedroom or living room)
Erecting external walls, fences, gates and railings Extensions
Replacing or maintaining driveways Changing the internal layout of the flat where structural walls are moved/removed
Wet rooms Extending into the loft space
Lighting and minor electrical works Installing additional floors, such as mezzanine levels, and creating new staircases (e.g. within multi-level apartments)
Flooring (e.g. installing wooden or laminate flooring) Creating new window or door openings or converting an external window to a door

Commercial Leases

The landlord will appoint a surveyor to review the proposed alterations in the majority of circumstances. Only where the intended works are very minor or non-structural, might they (and at their sole discretion) waive the right to obtain a Due Diligence Report, in which case the fee paid for the report during the form submission will be refunded.

Any recommendations made by the surveyor will be incorporated in the Licence for Alterations.

If the surveyors need to carry out a site visit or ongoing monitoring, any reasonable costs will be payable by you, in addition to the Due Diligence Report fee. We will obtain a further quote for you from the surveyors.