Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:43 am

Hi Jilly,

I spoke to the person who moved the both boxes they had to be moved as the building they were on was being converted.

just how long have they had a box on your property?

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

Postby Clifford Pope » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:17 am

I don't think it has actually been confirmed that this arrangement is a hang-over from single-ownership, although the circumstances do seem to indicate this. "Agricultural standard" is a good way of putting it - we have various unofficial supplies running to outbuildings and a cottage that would be a nightmare if any bits were ever sold off.

Doesn't this basically come down to money? The neighbours have rights and are holding fast, the OP has an unsatisfactory arrangement but appears to be stuck with it.
Therefore all it needs is for the OP to approach the neighbour with an offer - total relocation of meter and cable at her expense, plus agreed compensation for disruption etc. Pay up whatever it takes, or live with it.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby mr sheen » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:19 am

Jillycookstown wrote:Hi the line is a private line which belongs solely to my neighbour. The electricity company will not have anything to do with the cable after it leavesthe box. The wire as stated runs through our outbuilding then the live wires come out of the back of my house and dangles down over my garden.
I spoke to the person who moved the both boxes they had to be moved as the building they were on was being converted.
Now we are left with this difficult situation.
Does anybody know if you can ask a utility company to move the box


You can ASK for anything....but you may not get what you ask for. Certainly thinking you can force someone to do something is not a good attitude or approach.
This is actually a tricky situation since you are the ones with the H&S issue and responsibility for the safety of others on your property and if this truly is a H&S risk, as you suggest, then you have an issue with liability in the event so an incident.

You can't force the neighbour to do anything. They are the beneficiaries of this arrangement that was set up before you bought and you are 'burdened' with this in legal terms. I would suggest the best way forward is to negotiate very very nicely with the neighbours to try to get an outcome that is better for you. A heavy handed approach will make them resolute and then you lose.

Liability for safety of people on your property....possible 'live wires hanging into garden'....the approach you may want to take is to offer to pay all costs and appropriate compensation for any disruption to get this resolved ASAP since you are also fully aware of the risks this matter poses to invitees on your property, as evidenced by the thread here.

This is an old property with complex history and you chose to buy it warts n all and now the warts will probably cost. Contact elec company and ask for their help as a first step and take steps to recover relations with neighbours so you can work together and offer hard cash to get what you want.....or leave as is.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Roblewis » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:43 am

At the end of the day the neighbours interest is to have a good standard of electricity supply and the meter location ought to be irrelevant. It would be far easier to turn off at their land rather than yours so surely a good solution can be found but it will cost you some money.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:35 pm

There can be no burden on the OP's land due to long usage unless the alleged dominant landowner can prove that the cable was sited and has continued to be used without the consent of the alleged servant landowner. That is one of the basic facts that the dominant landowner needs to prove. Don't forget they will bear the burden of proof.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:30 pm

Collaborate wrote:There can be no burden on the OP's land due to long usage unless the alleged dominant landowner can prove that the cable was sited and has continued to be used without the consent of the alleged servant landowner. That is one of the basic facts that the dominant landowner needs to prove. Don't forget they will bear the burden of proof.

Hi Collaborate,

are you not getting that the wrong way round - it would be the allegedly servient landowner to prove permission was sought and given...

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

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:45 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
Collaborate wrote:There can be no burden on the OP's land due to long usage unless the alleged dominant landowner can prove that the cable was sited and has continued to be used without the consent of the alleged servant landowner. That is one of the basic facts that the dominant landowner needs to prove. Don't forget they will bear the burden of proof.

Hi Collaborate,

are you not getting that the wrong way round - it would be the allegedly servient landowner to prove permission was sought and given...

Kind regards, Mac


Whoever seeks to assert a fact has the burden of proving it. It is therefore for the dominant landowner to prove all the features necessary for an easement to be created, one of which is the absence of consent. As far as OP is concerned, the only incontrovertible fact is that next door's electricity supply runs through her property. If she take the case to court, next door may, in their defence, claim the existence of an easement. the burden of proving that falls on them.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Collaborate » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:05 pm

Actually, page 2 of this thesis seems to muddy the water a little.

http://www.law.mmu.ac.uk/wp-content/upl ... Thesis.pdf

Perhaps OP could read what is said about acquiescence and see how this fits around her situation.

Or look at paras 3.92 onwards of this Law Commission report

http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/doc ... report.pdf

The latter suggests that OP's predecessors in title will have had to do more than passively acquiesce, in view of the fact that the supply passes through their buildings.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:17 pm

Hi the whole farm was sold off for development and although the electric box is cited on my house in 2005 it is not actually a burden on our title, it was moved to our property as it was on an outbuilding that has now been converted to a dwelling by the developer. The box being on our house was never picked up by our surveyor and to be honest if we had decent neighbours who would allow us to repair our building we would have no issue with it being there. We would be willing to pay some of the cost, but not all as we did make it clear to the previous owners that the the current set up from 2009 may need to be moved.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:23 pm

Please note my neighbours is not next door if they were we would not have the issue, their property is a 10 minute walk away and we can 100 % prove when the electric box was put on our property 2005 and the citing of the line is 2009 and their lawyer has not picked up on this so has failed to put a burden in our title.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby span » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:41 pm

Just on a point of order, you couldn't ever stop saying "cited" and start saying "sited", could you? Thanks awfully.

Anyhoo, I reckon this is just a bit beyond our ken. It's new and interesting, but ultimately you'll have to find your own solution. We don't have it. Sorry.

Please let us know how the story develops.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby mr sheen » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:58 pm

Jillycookstown wrote:Hi the whole farm was sold off for development and although the electric box is cited on my house in 2005 it is not actually a burden on our title, it was moved to our property as it was on an outbuilding that has now been converted to a dwelling by the developer. The box being on our house was never picked up by our surveyor and to be honest if we had decent neighbours who would allow us to repair our building we would have no issue with it being there. We would be willing to pay some of the cost, but not all as we did make it clear to the previous owners that the the current set up from 2009 may need to be moved.


The developer sold off sections and you bought yours as it was and your surveyor didn't pick it up. It doesn't need to be identified as a burden on the title if you read the documents you probably purchased the property along with all existing burdens etc etc etc.....check with your solicitors.

Any arrangement you had with previous owners is irrelevant to these owners and since you want to move it now, only the current owner is relevant and they won't agree. So until they do you are stuck in the status quo.

The fact that the neighbours have padlocked their meter suggests that they may have taken some advice themselves. If they had posted here, they may well have been advised to padlock the meter, indicate that they do not agree to any changes at all and wait for an offer to made since the status quo ad infinitum is ok with them.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby jdfi » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:27 pm

I say you need to have a more assertive conversation with the local REC (regional electricity distribution company).

Can we see a diagram showing what is where?
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby syl2 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:56 am

A 10 minute walk is a long way - probably 3/4 of a kilometre. How big is this cable and how is it supported? As it is the other side of the meter, it will have to meet certain specifications for voltage drop, which will be very difficult without a cable costing an awful lot (electric company cables, before the meter, have to adhere to a much less stringent set of regulations). Does their cable meet the regulations at the time of installation? If not, dobbing them in may see a solution present itself as they would have to get the electric company to move the metre closer to their property. Even significantly underestimating both the power requirements and distance, a 50A supply over 200m would need 50mm2 two core SWA, which runs to a couple of thousand pounds for the cable alone.

If you believe that their unmaintained cable poses a risk to health/life on your property, you need to inform them in writing. Knowing of the problem and failing to do anything about it, they will be extremely exposed to litigation if an accident occurs. You also need to get someone from the council involved.
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Re: Neighbours electricity cable runs through our property

Postby Jillycookstown » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:04 am

My house was never part of the development, neither was the neighbours property, but because the other farm buildings that had the electrical supply in them were both our electrical supplies needed to be moved in 2005.
Our lawyer has confirmed it is not a burden to be honest an ordinary surveyor would be unlikely to pick up on this extraordinary set up, who would imagine your neighbour over a 10 min walk away would have their electrical box attached to your house.
The electrical company will have nothing to do with it from the box as it is then a private line and the sole responsibility of our neighbour.
The neighbours did have problems a few years ago were if it was windy or stormy it kept tripping so they changed the RCD in the box does this put us more at risk if this RCD is not as sensitive.
I am not sure what the council would do it might be worth contacting the HES Executive as the line does not seem to be of the specification you mention.
I have written to them asking them to remove it and have given them 6 months as it is a real concern in relation to our health and safety. I would have no problem with it taking its current route if they maintained it and upgraded it to ensure it caused no risk to me and my family but they will not communicate with us.
I will try and upload pictures
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