What Is An Access Agreement

Jan 29, 2021

In this week’s Property Wall Surveying blogpost topic, we are going to be discussing Access Agreements, commonly known as Access Licences, the purpose the serve and when they are applicable.

An Access Agreement, also known as an Access Licence, applies when one Owner, whom is usually undertaking construction works to their property, wants to gain access onto their Adjoining Owner’s property, land or airspace.

If they are undertaking maintenance works, they will have the legal right of access through the Access to Neighbouring Land Act. However, if they are not undertaking maintenance works, then they have no legal right of access onto the Adjoining Owner’s land, and will therefore need to go through an Access Agreement, or Access Licence, thereby giving them temporary access onto the land, and ultimately enabling them to undertake construction works. The strict definition on maintenance, effectively means maintaining or upkeeping, any part of their property, which is why any new development, improvement, or anything else outside of that scope, will fall well within the realms of an Access Agreement territory.

It is worth noting, that the Owner whom is undertaking the construction work, has no legal right of access onto the Adjoining Owner’s land, and the access being granted, by the Adjoining Owner, is very much at the whim, and agreement of that Owner.

Should the Adjoining Owner not want to provide access, they do not need to give any form of reason, or breakdown, as to why they are refusing it, they can simply just state it in writing.

The logic behind this, is that the Adjoining Owner has the legal right to enjoy their land in any which way they choose, free from nuisance and issue, and therefore the Building Owner, or Owner who is undertaking the works to their property, cannot interfere with that legal right.

If indeed the Adjoining Owner is agreeable to access to the land, they will usually want some form of legal document or contract governing that access. This is where the Access Licence comes into play, and ultimately ensures that the short, interim and long-term issues are all considered by a Surveyor, pre-works, and pre-access, ultimately ensuring that the risk of issue is as low as it can possibly be.

If you would like to discuss Access Licences with our team of Surveyors here at Stokemont, give us a call or get in touch here and we will be more than happy to assist you.