What Goes in an Access Licence?

Tuesday, 31st July 2018 | by: Justin Burns

Licenses covering access over adjoining owners’ properties, whether they be for a scaffold, hoarding or crane over sail will include a number of common clauses relating to the principle of access with further clauses specific to the purpose of the access.

A typical Licence should contain clauses relating to the following:

The duration of access – Access will always be for a fixed period and this needs to be clearly defined; usually in weeks.

Access times – these would normally be in accordance with Local Authority regulations but as access is by agreement they may be shortened at the request of the adjoining owner.

Consideration – if a consideration has been agreed this should be confirmed together with any penalties for extending the access beyond the agreed duration.

Indemnities – the building owner will generally indemnify the adjoining owner against injury or loss of life to any person or damage to property caused by, or in consequence of, the erection of the scaffolding.

Compliance – with all statutory requirements.

Neighbouring premises – maintaining access to/from if appropriate.

Protection – of paving, surfaces of roofs, roof lights etc.

Damage – an obligation to make good any damage within a reasonable time period. The condition of adjacent areas would be recorded prior to access commencing and that document referred back to should damage be suspected.

Breaches – the procedures to follow if there is a breach of the License terms.

Possession – whether exclusive possession is granted or otherwise.

Professional fees – a building owner would normally be asked to provide an undertaking that they will cover the reasonable legal and professional fees of the adjoining owner (whether or not a Licence is ultimately agreed).

Assignment – if it is anticipated that either party is to divest of their interest in the property during the licence term.

Governing Law and Jurisdiction – usually England and Wales.


If the access required is to erect a scaffolding the following addition clauses will be required:

The Scope – should be defined by way of a plan and section.

Compliance – that the scaffold will be erected by trained and licensed scaffolders and maintained in accordance with BS12811

Nuisance – it would be normal for the building owner to take reasonable measures such as encapsulating the scaffolding with Monarflex sheeting to control the spread of dust and debris and fitting acoustic sheeting to mitigate noise disturbance.

Security – depending upon proximity to the adjoining owner’s premises this might include a requirement to lock away ladders or fit an alarm.

Health & Safety – if the scaffold is over a pedestrian access some lighting will be required and possibly luminous foam sleeves to the uprights.

Cleaning Down – at the end of the access period to include gutters, drains, windows etc. as appropriate.


If the access required is to oversail a crane the following clauses will be required:

Restrictions – oversailing would generally be restricted to times when the crane was transporting loads

The scope – the extent of the jib and the clearance over adjoining structures by way of a plan and section

Compliance – with method statements and the manufacturer’s instructions together with a requirement to keep equipment in a good working order.

If you require advice regarding access for scaffolding, a hoarding or to oversail a crane you are welcome to contact us for some advice on 020 7183 2578 or by email.