Probably the most common reason for accessing an adjoining owner’s property is to erect a scaffold or hoarding. This might be to ensure safe demolition as part of clearing a site for development or to facilitate new development either at or close to a boundary.

Demolition, dismantling and structural alterations must be carefully planned by experienced practitioners and undertaken in a way that prevents danger and this will include establishing clearly marked exclusion zones with barriers or hoardings if necessary.

The same would apply to the construction of new buildings – if the building has a wall close to the boundary it will be necessary to obtain temporary access over a strip of the adjoining owner’s land and if the wall is 2 or more storeys high a scaffold will be required.

If an adjoining owner does consent to access they will normally want the assurance of a formal License.

A License is normally drawn up with the assistance of surveyors and signed by both parties. It will have a number of conditions to safeguard the adjoining owner and their property and may include a weekly consideration.

A Scaffold Licence would typically include clauses confirming the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • The duration of access and details of any consideration (including penalties).
  • How the adjoining owner’s property will be protected (paving, roofs etc.) and their access maintained (where applicable).
  • Measures to mitigate nuisance from noise and/or dust.
  • Measures to maintain the security of the adjoining owner’s property – this might include a scaffold alarm, locking away ladders etc.
  • An obligation to make good any damage within a reasonable or prescribed time period.
  • A requirement for the building owner to place a sum of money in an account to pay for any damage to the adjoining owner’s property.

Prior to any scaffolding being erected a written record of those parts of the adjoining owner’s property which are at risk from the works should be taken together with a set of supporting photographs.  This schedule of condition is then attached to the Licence and can be referred back to if damage is reported.

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If you require any advice on matters relating to scaffold licenses please do not hesitate to contact us.

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