Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:51 am

I live in an old farmhouse and my neighbours who live about 200meters away have their electricity cable running through my property. The line is private and is the responsibility of my neighbours to maintain this. The supply has had to be moved on a number of occasions due to health and safety and it is again causing problems and I would like it recited to make it safe for me and my family but the neighbours have refused and are trying to get an interdict to prevent us being able to switch it off to repair our property.
The actual main cable was moved from a neighbouring building and attached to our house in 2005 ( we did not live in the house then) and the cable was recited in 2009. There is no burden on our title to say it can be cited through or on our building.
Ideally we would like to have it removed so our neighbours who are now being quite unpleasant cannot just walk onto our property anytime they like to access their electric box and to make it safe to allow us to maintain our property.
I am a bit biased as I am caught in the middle of this and wanted people's opinions- am I being unreasonable expecting them to move it.
And does anybody have advice on how we could proceed with getting them to move it. Please note they have now padlocked their meter to make sure nobody can turn it off.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby jdfi » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:13 am

Was consent ever given? Could they produce a document (forged or real) to say that it was?

This sounds dodgy. I used to work for an electricity company, and the convention is that the meter goes to someone's property..

Is the meter itself on your land?
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:37 am

Hi Jilly,

are these Scottish properties? (this forum is for E & W)

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby ukmicky » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:26 am

Wow ,don't touch anything without permission.

You can't just turn off someone's power and I wouldn't even attempt it as you could find yourself liable for lots of damages which could possibly run into thousands. Think about how much their property will be devalued by if it has no power and then think about how much their claim would be for. Even turning off for a day or two could find you liable to a large damages claim .

You are also legally forbidden from touching anything on the electricity boards side of the meter without the electricity companies permision.

Were these two properties ever part of the same land or owned by the same person. Just because nothing is mentioned on the deeds dosent mean they have no legal right to keep it there. The vast majority of easements are not express and therefore not written down on anything.


This cable is attached to your property and it would be very hard for any owner of your property to say they didn't know it was there and under such circumstances it would most likely be fair to say the owner of your property allowed it. Therefore the chances are an easement right exists under common law.

Even if you could Pursude a court that no easement under common law existed there is a extremely good chance that an easement could be claimed under equity.

My advice is they probably hold all the cards so talk to them and get them to agree to it being resited at your cost, somewhere else on your land that they agree to and have it done at a day and time that they agree to. Also if they agree make sure it's all done on the same day or you may find a bill for a hotel room coming your way for everyday that their house is without power.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Roblewis » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:45 am

Fully agree with ukmicky. In fact if the cable is laid out ready to connect then the downtime is often as little as one hour for the customer. Get your utility company to give you a quote - If it is an illegal line they will soon tell you. Do not let them lay the cable though as your own electrical contractor will be far cheaper in most circumstances
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Collaborate » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:00 pm

V important to know if the property is in Scotland or England/Wales.

Assuming it is E&W, or that Scots law is the same, you can only acquire rights by prescription if you do so without permission of the land owner.

I agree with ukmicky that it's most likely a previous owner allowed it. That means no rights can be established by prescription.

Worth taking a look at this:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... escription
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby jdfi » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:04 pm

My question is why the meter isn't on their land? With the electricity company getting a wayleave for _their_ cable?
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:09 am

Hi the meter is actually on my house and they are around a 10 min walk away. The farm was all split up in around 2005 and their box was moved from a barn and cited on my house. It is then a private line from our house to theirs and I know it will be expensive to have it moved, but now they are preventing us making it safe to allow us to make repairs, we feel we have no choice but to ask them to move it.
We do have a lawyer and he is suggesting we give them a servitude right, but I feel uncomfortable about this as we will be left with this burden for ever if we do
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:11 am

Hi yes, I was aware it was for E &W, but was really looking for an unbiased opinion. We do have a Scottish Lawyer.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:26 am

Thank you for your reply, I am sure if you actually saw the set up you would appreciate our concern. It was actually us that allowed the previous owners to recite it in 2009 and we put a caveat on it and it was never formally put into our title as a burden.
Now the new owners are preventing us repairing or maintaining our building which has an impact on our buildings insurance

I agree the best solution all round would for it to be moved, but they are limited to where they can move it too without it running through the inside of my building. It could be put underground if my neighbour next door permitted it, but that it most unlikely.
I have no objection to it being overhead, but the wires are all dangling down and not maintained despite us asking the neighbour to repair them.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Collaborate » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:55 am

Why does your lawyer suggest you give them a servitude right? That would suggest they need one to continue with the cable over your property. Are you being advised that they could force you to accept it? If they can't force you to accept it, you have a choice. Require them to remove it, or agree how much they should pay you for the right to keep it where you would prefer it to be.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:37 am

Hi Jilly,

we put a caveat on it

on what?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby span » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:24 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Jilly,

we put a caveat on it

on what?

Kind regards, Mac


And what was the caveat?
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:53 pm

I think my lawyer is looking for an easy neighbourly compromise. It would cost a fortune for them to move it, we would like to sit down with the neighbours to get a solution to this but they will not agree to this, they just want to go through lawyers- the only people winning is the lawyer. However it did lead us to dig a bit deeper and find out a bit more about the history and it turns out that there has been some issues in conveyancing when they bought their property, but no normal lawyer would ever imagine that some bodies water and electrical supply would run through somebody else's house especially as we are over200 meters away. I will keep trying to get them around the table to truant get a solution
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:57 pm

Hi their actual electric cable runs through our outbuilding this was routed there in 2009 as the previous set up was condemned as being unsafe, we asked that they maintain it every two years they have never touched it and the live wire comes out just under the eaves of our house and the people before would allow us to switch it off to make repairs, but these people have padlocked it and are refusing to allow us to repair our building
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