Access to Neighbouring Land

How a Property Lawyer Can Help You Get Access

In the construction industry, being able to access a neighbouring property can be important in your ability to complete a development. For instance, you might need to wholly or partially erect scaffolding on a neighbour’s land, or a crane may hang over your neighbour’s air space while works are being carried out.

Of course the initial approach would be to try to come to an agreement with the neighbour. This is always the best and necessary first step. Failing that, the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 2000 (NSW) governs the requirements for access to a neighbour’s land.

An experienced property lawyer can assist you throughout the process of gaining access to neighbouring land, whether that entails liaising with the neighbour directly, or applying to the Local Court for approval.

Legal Requirements for Obtaining Access

If one party needs access to a neighbour’s land, an application to the Local Court can be made to seek approval. Generally, the Court needs to be satisfied that:

  • Access is required for the specified task;
  • Reasonable efforts have been made to reach agreement with all parties whose consent is required; and
  • Such an order is appropriate in all circumstances.

Where reasonable efforts have been made to reach an agreement with relevant parties, the Court must then consider the following:

  • Whether the work can be carried out without access, or if it would be substantially difficult or more expensive to do so; and
  • Whether granting access would cause “unreasonable hardship” to the party affected by it.

AccessToNeighbour

When Builders and Developers Require Access

Gavel & Page property lawyers can also assist builders or developers who require access to a neighbour’s property for the purpose of making a proper assessment. We help them obtain the desired outcome quickly and effectively, as such disputes can delay projects significantly.

When preparing an application for access or providing advice as to the best way forward, we generally discuss the following:

  • What discussions or attempts to come to an agreement have been made?
  • Was monetary compensation or other offers, such as adequate insurances, extended to the party?
  • Why is access needed and are there any alternate options?
  • What is the impact of doing the work in other ways, both in time and cost?

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