What is an Access Licence?

Jun 21, 2021

An Access Licence is a owner to owner contract that is required when one owner requires access onto another owner’s land.

Through the eyes of the law, if the owner requires the access for new construction work that isn’t deemed to be maintenance, then they will require the legal consent from the owner of the land.

Most commonly this will be access into or onto a garden, roof space, air space or other part of the property. Commonly these will be in the form of; scaffolding, hoarding or over sailing a crane, an access license is required to cover access on adjoining owners’ properties for these works.

In order to ensure the adjoining owner’s full protection, some of the common specific clauses that need to be included in a licence tend to be as follows:

What an Access Licence Should Typically Contain? 

Duration of Access:

This will be clearly defined as a fixed period. It will take account the period of time the Surveyors or owners have agreed to. This can range from days to years, so be sure to fully discuss the timings with the Surveyor pre licence agreement.

Access Times:

These are normally in compliance with local authority regulations. However, it is worth noting that it is the adjoining owner’s land and they are allowing the access at their consent, so they are within their rights to requested reduced, specific or set working working hours. 

Compensation:

More often than not, the licence will include payment provisions from the building owner to adjoining owner. This can also be referred to as access rent. If the access extends over the agreed period, there is also usually a penalty figure to safeguard access overspill.

Indemnities:

Building owners have to compensate adjoining owners for any damage to their property. This covers all property and not just the land, building etc. The licence will have a robust clause outlining how damage is dealt with and awarded.

Compliance:

All related statutory requirements must be complied with. This includes items such as CDM, health and safety, insurance etc. The aim is to ensure that the contractor is well placed to undertake the works and they are well considered.

Protection:

Temporary protections will be put in place to ensure that the risk of damage is as low as it can be. These can be far and wide and however will fully take account the property specific point.

Schedule of Condition Report:

Before the access starts, a Schedule of Condition of the neighbouring premises and areas will be recorded. This ensures a robust record is in place and ensures the adjoining owner isn’t left in a position whereby there is any uncertainty to the damage being new or old.

Access licences are specific and different to every property and work proposals, the Surveyor’s role is to ensure that the licence best considers these, while also fully taking account their client’s requirements.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions on access license for any type of construction work.