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5 tips to successfully negotiate access and reinstatement julia coates struber comms
5 Tips to Successfully
Negotiate Access and
Reinstatement on Private
1. PHOTOS, PHOTOS, PHOTOS
Before you start thinking about hashing out a deal it is important
to lay the groundwork. Formally assess and document the
current condition of the property, before construction starts, and
seek recommendations for the rehabilitation of the property. Not
only will this better inform your understanding of the potential
impacts and mitigations for the works, it will also capture the state
of the property at a point in time pre-construction. For a
contractor this can save potential re-works and expensive claims.
A pre-construction report also provides surety to the stakeholder
that the property will be reinstated to a standard that matches the
2. KNOW THE NON-NEGOTIABLES
When you’ve made progress on certain issues but remain
stymied on others, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s standing
between you and a mutually acceptable deal. Understanding the
drivers, motivators and non-negotiables of the stakeholder and
the contractor can allow you to identify areas in which each party
can make concessions to reach agreement sooner. If a give and
take approach doesn’t work, invite the stakeholder to outline their
specific requirements and request some time to consider and
respond to their proposal. By taking a little extra time you can
increase the value of your perceived concession and the
satisfaction of the stakeholder.
3. DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL
Whatever you have gained through artful negotiation will be lost,
confused or simply disregarded if the agreement you have
reached is not captured in a formal document. All land access
and rehabilitation or reinstatement agreements require a formal
contract. The technical side of executing an agreement isn’t
glamorous, but it is important. Make sure that you capture every
detail, even the minutiae, in the documented agreement and
deliver to it. A small detail missed at this stage can snowball into
an expensive oversight later. In the event of a scope change,
ensure that any additional works, changes or re-negotiations are
4. STICK TO THE SCHEDULE
Good engagement doesn’t end once you have sealed the deal.
To keep the project on schedule and the landowner happy,
communication is key. Agree notification timelines for property
access, if it is ongoing, and provide regular updates on
construction and reinstatement activities. By keeping the
stakeholder up-to-date, informed and in-the-loop you can
address any concerns they may have and minimise risk to the
project. Remember, even though there is a land access
agreement in place it is still the landowner’s property and the
contractor must respect that.
5. START WITH THE END IN MIND
Once works are complete, the landowner will need to agree in
writing that the affected property has been reinstated in
accordance with the formal agreement. Legally finalising the
agreement and transferring the ongoing maintenance and
responsibility of the returned works to the stakeholder is
imperative for the project. It is important to set the stakeholders
expectations and understanding of this all-important step at the
very beginning of the negotiation process. If you do not start with
the end in mind, the end can be hard to find.