Type of Works
Licence To Alter


EK LTA was approached by central London managing agent Lee Baron to provide a report on the feasibility of installing a high-tech aquarium on the first floor of this prestigious 30 storey apartment complex on the edge of London’s West End. Our initial thoughts included “Why would a licence to alter be necessary for a fish tank?”

In fact, the aquarium weighed about the same as an Audi A4 once filled with water (about 1600 kgs) so it was evident that a structural engineer would be required to report. The timber floors of the property would not support the weight of the tank, was the feedback, which was to be laid directly onto the floor slab.

Our concerns went beyond the bulk of the aquarium. The best part of the weight was the water – over 1000 litres – so a tank failure could be disastrous for the apartment beneath – and fatal for the poor fish. Then there’s the sophisticated plumbing and drainage systems, all adding to the complexity of the installation and concern for other residents.

What of the lease? Well, aside from the structural considerations, the lease states the flooring and floor insulation must be kept intact and so there is a potential breach here.  The lease also requires the Landlord’s consent for keeping pets – including fish – in the property.

We have submitted our report to the agent and landlord, so we will conclude this case study in due course.

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