My property litigation partner, Alison Mould, has raised an interesting point. She tells me that permission may be required for attaching art to surfaces in premises that are let to the occupant. Substantial works will require substantial hangings. Anything more than the odd drawing pin may involve interacting with the fabric of the building and require a landlord’s licence to alter. Licences can take two or three months to obtain and so, if anticipating an exhibition or gallery, this is something that will need to be factored into the timetable.
There’s good reason for landlords to be concerned. One of our construction litigation partners, Frances Alderson, has a case where a building owner innocently hung several heavily framed paintings on a wall. What he failed to check was whether the wall had been designed to take either the weight of the pictures or the movement in the wall caused by the weight. In the event, the movement caused cracks, giving rise to a dispute as to who was to blame – the owner, the architect or the builders.