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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I need to erect scaffolding on my neighbour's land to do

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Hi. I need to erect scaffolding on my neighbour's land to do repairs to my home (neighbouring land is a factory) and they have asked for scaffolding technical drawings before granting permission. Do I have to provide these? It will cost me money. Thanks.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.
how much are the technical drawings going to cost?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I don't know, but I imagine it will be several hours' work on the part of the draftsman so perhaps a couple of hundred pounds, at least. The property is very tall (in a sloping area) and the scaffolding will be resting on the adjacent property because they share a party wall with me. The scaffolding company and contractors will be professional firms and have PL and PI insurance and I am happy to supply copies of their insurance docs etc to my neighbour as I believe that is pretty standard.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.
Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act a neighbour is obliged to give you consent access their land for any work required to preserve (maintain) your property. Unfortunately, whilst you have the right of access and you can take the neighbour to court to get an injunction if they will not grant access, there is no mention in the Act about remaining on the property or erecting scaffolding.It is going to need the neighbours consent and whilst there is no statutory duty on you to provide technical drawings for the scaffolding, whilst it may be a little over the top, it’s not that reasonable for them to confirm in some way that the scaffolding is going to be put up in a competent way. There is another potential issue which they will be concerned about because they are a commercial organisation and that is the health and safety aspect whereby they would be required to carry out a risk assessment in respect of this and part of that risk assessment process would be these technical drawings and specifications.It is not something that it’s probably worth going to court over because it is likely that the court would say that this is not unreasonable request and in any event, it could take several months to get to court which may be an unacceptable delay for you. Even so, I think there is a good chance that the court would say that the request was not unreasonable.A court action could cost several thousand pounds which you may lose and therefore the cost of the technical information is going to be the cheapest and most risk-free option.Can I clarify anything for you?Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.Best wishesFES
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi, thanks for that. Yes, please could you clarify how far this could go? If I supply technical drawings, can he then say I have to pay for him to get them verified/interpreted by a relevant professional? He is a quantity surveyor who owns a technical company in the building trade. He has a history of being obstructive/difficult during previous interactions I have had with him and I have had to get the local authority involved. I am concerned that he may say I have to pay for professional advice for him, and/or his time in looking at any drawings or other docs he has requested. Where would I stand? It says on my deeds that I need his permission to erect scaffolding (which it sounds like is just how the law stands in any case) and that this permission must not be "unreasonably withheld or delayed". I am worried that he may try to spin things out and I want to know whether there is any line to be drawn. For example, previously, he requested a meeting between himself and my proposed contractors (I didn't go ahead with the work so this didn't happen). I would prefer to ask him simply to correspond in writing with me and I will supply any relevant documentation (eg insurance certificates, schedule of works, dates) but I don't want to antagonise him, though I don't see what a meeting would achieve that documentation wouldn't. Is there a line of what would be reasonable for me to supply, as the owner of a small end terrace adjoining their large commercial premises. There is no question that the work needs doing; he has in the past pointed out that it poses a potential threat to his property if I don't get it done. Thanks.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.
I’m glad to have helped.The situation is that whatever this costs him, you are liable for although, it would appear that he would try to manufacture some kind of extra work to “interpret” these drawings.However those costs must be reasonable. Unfortunately, there is no definition of reasonable. What is certain is that even a potential cost perhaps running to £1000 or even £2000 is going to be cheaper and quicker than litigating the matter although, if he is being completely unreasonable, you would get those costs awarded against him in the event that your opposition to the money he is asking for is successful.To be honest, I cannot see the moment why he needs to “interpret” these drawings or to have that done by a third party. However if you have quite rightly said, in the past he has been obstructive and he might see this as a way of actually making some pocket money for his company out of it.What you might want to do is agree to pay for the cost of the interpretation on the basis that it is done by an unconnected third-party because you are anxious to make sure that there is no conflict of interest.
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8985
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for that. I am thinking it's going to be a case of crossing bridges when I come to them. I wish he wasn't such a tosspot (excuse my language). Thanks again.

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