House scaffolding

When your home requires external repair or home improvement, you may require scaffolding for a certain period of time. It is important to get accustomed to your rights and obligations as a homeowner, when you need to build scaffolding on a neighbour’s land. In order to avoid angry disputes and threatening notes, you need to fully understand the laws and regulations. Sometimes there is no option than to erect scaffolding on a neighbours property, but here is everything you need to know to make sure you remain within these guidelines.

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What is the Reason for the Scaffolding?

The reason behind your scaffolding needs will determine what kind of rights you have. Here are a handful of distinguishments to make before you explore your obligations:

Home Improvements: If your home is undergoing an extension or significant home improvement that isn’t 100% necessary, then you are unable to erect scaffolding on a neighbour’s property without prior permission. 

Repairs and Renovations: If your home needs essential renovations and repairs it is possible to erect scaffolding on a neighbour’s land as long as you give notice. You should note that the repairs must be essential in order to qualify. 

In both cases, it is very important to let your neighbours know about any work going on in and around their property. With advanced warning, many neighbours will be more than cooperative, especially if the repairs and renovations are advantageous to them. Make sure you outline exactly what the renovation work is, so that there are no hidden surprises.

With regards to extensions, even if you have obtained the relevant planning permission, this still doesn’t count as permission from your neighbour to erect scaffolding. In this case, you will need to hope that the neighbours are agreeable with the situation and understand your wishes to work on your property.

When Neighbours Don’t Cooperate

The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 199 can be invoked if your neighbours are uncooperative with your request for repairs and renovations. You will need to provide sufficient evidence to show that you need access to your neighbours land in order to carry out the relevant repairs. The court may then grant you access and lay out exactly what can and cannot be done with regards to the scaffolding, as well as potential negotiations with timings and compensation.

The Neighbours Point of View

Your neighbours may reject the idea of scaffolding for a number of reasons, but some of the most common ones are, blocking access to their home, an unsightly view, potential danger and loose tools and debris causing damage.

Although many neighbours may think they have a valid point, you are well within your rights to undertake construction work using scaffolding if it is essential. 

Ultimately, if you want to erect scaffolding as part of an extension that'll intrude on your neighbours land (i.e. an over the garage extension if you're semi-detached), you need to keep an open line of communication with your neighbours, so that they are kept in the loop throughout the entire process. This will make them less likely to lodge a complaint so that you can get on with your repairs and renovations smoothly and swiftly.

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