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  • Sam Crozier

What's the difference between a lease plan and a floor plan?

Updated: Apr 29

A tape measure lies on top of a floor plan document

There are several different types of plan that can be used to represent the layout of a property - but they aren't all created equal! Land registry lease plans and floor plans are just two examples of such documents, and to those who are new to them, they can look very similar.

However, if you're buying or leasing a property, it is important to know the differences between them.

Each type of plan is used for different purposes, and in some cases, providing one when you are supposed to be supplying the other can cost you time and money.

We've broken down the key details of lease plans and floor plans so that you can be fully informed about what it is you need.

Are lease plans and floor plans the same thing?

In short, no - lease plans and floor plans are not the same thing, although they are closely related, and share some similarities.

They are both comprised of drawings that provide a detailed visual representation from above of a property's layout. Both typically require the involvement of professionals who will have expertise in fields such as planning, surveying or architecture, which ensures that any plans produced are accurate and compliant.

However, there are also some key differences that you will need to be aware of if you are looking to obtain one.

The difference between lease plans and floor plans

Land Registry compliant lease plans

A Land Registry lease plan is an official document that keeps the government and those involved in property transactions informed about who owns which leasehold properties, and the relevant details of them such as the demise, layout, orientation, and floor levels and communal areas.

A land registry compliant plan takes the form of a scaled drawing that illustrates the area covered in the lease. It is not just a standalone floor plan, however - it must also contain several other components, such as an indicator showing the orientation of the property, identification details, and colour-coding to denote different areas.

It is a crucial document in the process of registering leasehold properties and must be compliant with land registry guidelines.

Floor plans

The term 'floor plan' is a more general one. Floor plans can take multiple forms for different purposes, but all provide birds eye view of the layout of the property from above.

Generally, the role of a floor plan is to make it easy to understand the space, so it will include the locations of walls, doors, windows, stairs, and other fixed elements such as built in appliances.

A floor plan is a component of a land registry compliant lease plan, as well as of a title plan, but is also commonly used outside of these documents. For example, floor plans are often used in residential and commercial property listings, or as part of a building renovation or planning permission application.

The key differences

  • Purpose: a floor plan is more generally used for informational purposes and in communications materials about a given property, where as a lease plan is used to define the boundaries included in a lease.

  • Typical use: lease plans are primarily needed in property transactions for leasehold properties and are provided to the land registry, whereas floor plans may be used in a number of situations. For example, an HMO floor planshows the agreed boundaries for each tenant in houses of multiple occupancy, where more general floor plans may be used by estate agents for marketing purposes or by businesses to map their space.

  • Scale: while lease plans must always be to scale (the different parts of the drawing are the right size in relation to each other), this is not always the case with floor plans, depending on the type you get. For example, it's common for floor plans used by estate agents not to be to scale.

  • Scope: while both plans show detailed information about the interior of a property and it's features, a compliant lease plan will go beyond this. It should include a north point, clearly define the legal boundaries and obligations, and display an Ordnance Survey location plan in the corner. This allows the property to be identified within its local area. Just like the rest of the lease plan, the inclusion of the Ordnance Survey location plan must also be to scale.

  • Legal requirement: depending on what they are being used for, floor plans are often subject to certain regulations, but are not usually governed by legal requirements in the same way that lease plans are.

How do I know whether I need a lease plan or a floor plan?

Consider your situation; if you're in need of a plan for design, construction or marketing purposes, it's likely that you should opt for a floor plan. If you are involved in a leasehold property transaction or registration, it's more likely to be a lease plan.

If you've read and understood the differences between floor plans and lease plans then you are hopefully on your way to deciding which of them you need.

We've spent years providing land registry lease plans, scaled floor plans and HMO floor plans to customers, so if you're in need of advice, we're sure we'll be able to help.

Contact us today if you would like to discuss a lease plan or floor plan for your property.

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