Can We Have Access To The Neighbouring Land/Property
According to the Act, if necessary, the Adjoining Owner and/or occupier must grant access to your workers, surveyors, designers, etc., specifically for the purpose of carrying out works as mandated by the Act. They must also allow access to any surveyor appointed as part of the dispute resolution process.
To exercise these rights of entry, you are required to provide the Adjoining Owner and occupier with prior notice of your intention. The Act stipulates that a notice period of 14 days should be given, unless it is an emergency situation. To avoid any disputes during the work, it is advisable to include the requirement of access in the notice served when seeking consent to proceed with the works.
It is important to note that it is considered an offence, punishable in the magistrates’ court, for the occupier or any other individual to refuse entry or obstruct someone who is entitled to enter the premises under the Act. This applies if the person refusing entry is aware or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person is entitled to access.
In cases where the adjoining property is closed, such as an unoccupied property, your workers, surveyors, or designers may enter the premises by breaking open a fence or door. However, they must be accompanied by a police officer, following the procedures outlined in the Act.
It is advisable to discuss the matter of access for the works with your neighbour. In many instances, it is in the best interests of the Adjoining Owner to voluntarily grant access for activities such as building a wall or carrying out works that do not have a statutory right of access. This voluntary access allows for a better finish on the side of the wall that they will see, thus mutually benefiting both parties.