Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:50 pm

My neighbour is renovating a property in our terrace, the current water supply, I believe, runs through our garden (we are at the end of the terrace). Adjacent to the garden is a footpath (approx. 50m) that three other properties in the terrace use to access the rear of their homes. This footpath was previously (many years prior to us moving) part of our garden and still belongs to us.
About three weeks ago a labourer started digging up the path- I challenged him saying we had not given permission and the neighbour spoke to me saying he needed to replace the water supply pipes as they were "dangerous" lead pipes and that they were looking for the pipes, insisting " we all own the land". Since then they have dug a trench the whole length of the footpath. I believe they are re-routing their supply as there does not appear to be any pipes in the trench they have dug. Another neighbour has said that due to the increased number of bathrooms in the renovated property the water pressure is poor.
My questions: do we have to allow them to lay their pipes under the footpath or can we ask that they run alongside existing pipes ? Do they have to repair footpath to previous condition? What would be a reasonable time frame for this to be carried out?
Many thanks.
Aliene
 
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby ukmicky » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:09 am

Yes they have to repair the footpath and return it to it previous condition

They should have provided you with written notice of their intent to dig up your land and provide you of evidence of their right to maintain their water pipes and schedule of works so you could see what they will be doing from start to finish.

Any new pipes should be in the exact location of the old pipes.

They need to prove they have pipes running through your property.

They can only replace pipes if they need replacing due to blockage or leak. I do not believe replacing a pipe due to it being made of lead is a valid reason to replace without your permission.

You as land owner are legally responsible for ensuring any one with access across your land does not have their right of access unreasonably interfered with .
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:23 pm

Many thanks for your reply. Any advice on what I can do now the trench has been dug? I have contacted the water supplier who has said that the trench has been "privately excavated" and as such they can not comment. They have subsequently confirmed that the pipes are being rerouted due to poor pressure. Would it not be normal practice for them to confirm land ownership before agreeing to such work?

I would probably have agreed to this work had my neighbour asked permission and been honest, but feel he's making fools of us and taking advantage of our neighbourliness. This has been going on since end of March.

There is nothing in our deeds re: a ROW / easements on this path, if they did exist would they be in our deeds or his?

Thanks.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby ukmicky » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:59 pm

Aliene wrote:Many thanks for your reply. Any advice on what I can do now the trench has been dug? I have contacted the water supplier who has said that the trench has been "privately excavated" and as such they can not comment. They have subsequently confirmed that the pipes are being rerouted due to poor pressure. Would it not be normal practice for them to confirm land ownership before agreeing to such work?

I would probably have agreed to this work had my neighbour asked permission and been honest, but feel he's making fools of us and taking advantage of our neighbourliness. This has been going on since end of March.

There is nothing in our deeds re: a ROW / easements on this path, if they did exist would they be in our deeds or his?

Thanks.



Yes the utility company should be checking who owns the land.

So let me get this right. The people laying the pipes will be your local utility company. If that is the case you can simply tell them that the land is yours and as no wayleave exists for the laying of pipes across your land you are refusing them permission to perform the works.

A utility company legally requires a separate wayleave or easement granted to them from the owner of your land to run services across your land even if your neighbour has an easement. The big problem your neighbour has if you want to play hardball ,the only person who can grant that wayleave is you and the law says even if your neighbour has an easement you are under no legal obligation to grant further rights to the utility company by granting them a wayleave.

Its called a catch 22 situation.

So your first step if you want to take control is inform the utility company as soon as possible ,incase they turn up on Tuesday ,if they wish to lay the pipes across your land you require evidence that they have a wayleave permitting them access to your property to lay services and until such time that they can provide you with a copy of that wayleave you are refusing them access and you will consider any attempt to enter your land as trespass. . You will need to be forceful in order to make sure they listen to you so get to talk to a manager rather than a receptionist.

You then inform your neighbour you have refused to grant the utility company a wayleave which they require by law until they provide you with evidence that they have a easement right to maintain or lay services across your land.

You remain in control even if they can provide proof of an easement and can therefore lay down conditions that they will need to sign and agree to or you can simply refuse to grant a wayleave to the utility company. If they cant prove they have an easement you can refuse to allow services to be run across your and tell them to return your land back to the condition it was previously within 7 days or you will sue for damages .
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Mon May 01, 2017 12:23 am

The water supplier have told me my neighbour is self-laying the pipes.

My concern (now I know there is no safety necessity to replace them) is how the laying of these pipes on my land may affect my property in the future. We have been thinking of moving the fence slightly (about 3 foot) to enable us to site a shed, but I think this would potentially be over the new pipes.

I will be informing the water company again that I have not given my neighbour permission to install these pipes, but am guessing I need to tell the neighbour that he must not do any further work until he can prove he has a legal right to do this.

Thanks again.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Collaborate » Mon May 01, 2017 8:36 am

If the existing pipes go under your garden, but they want to route new pipes under the path, isn't it better that you let them? Far less disruption to you that way - just make sure the existing pipes under your lawn are capped off both ends.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby arborlad » Mon May 01, 2017 12:55 pm

Aliene wrote: Adjacent to the garden is a footpath (approx. 50m) that three other properties in the terrace use to access the rear of their homes. This footpath was previously (many years prior to us moving) part of our garden and still belongs to us.
About three weeks ago a labourer started digging up the path- I challenged him saying we had not given permission and the neighbour spoke to me saying he needed to replace the water supply pipes as they were "dangerous" lead pipes and that they were looking for the pipes, insisting " we all own the land".




Before you proceed you need to establish exactly who owns what and what rights others have to use it. From what you have posted it seems highly likely that you have always owned the path - and still do, others will have a shared right to use use it, but no shared ownership.

If the current path is 6ft wide and you move your fence by 3ft, those with a right to use that path will have a right to object to the restriction.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Eliza » Tue May 02, 2017 8:37 am

It is a bit confusing when you say they are doing work in your garden - as it doesnt sound as if they are. It sounds as if the work is on the communal footpath only.

Isn't it better to maintain good relations with the neighbour in this case - rather than trying to dig up legal stuff to stop them modernising their house? Not being able to have a 2nd bathroom in a house will be seen as "preventing modernisation" and would count as a "neighbourhood dispute" if you sell your house.

Now the work has started, then I would say it's best to focus on getting them to make good on the footpath once the work is finished.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Tue May 02, 2017 1:58 pm

Many thanks for your replies.

Just to clarify. It is the existing pioes that run through my garden. The new pipes are being laid under the footpath, which although my land is fenced off from the garden. There is no ROW/ easement mentioned in my deeds.

The path has now been dug up for a month, with little sign of progress.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue May 02, 2017 3:44 pm

Aliene wrote:Many thanks for your replies.

Just to clarify. It is the existing pioes that run through my garden. The new pipes are being laid under the footpath, which although my land is fenced off from the garden. There is no ROW/ easement mentioned in my deeds.

The path has now been dug up for a month, with little sign of progress.
did you suggest/ask/demand for the work to stop, though?
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Wed May 03, 2017 1:48 pm

I did initially ask why they were digging without permission an was told that the pipes were lead, dangerous etc., also that "we all owned" the land. Nothing more since. I only established on Friday that the water company are not carrying out this work.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:40 pm

Aliene wrote:I did initially ask why they were digging without permission an was told that the pipes were lead, dangerous etc., also that "we all owned" the land. Nothing more since. I only established on Friday that the water company are not carrying out this work.
maybe they went a way, had a think, and realised they might not have a right to lay pipes there so have stopped whilst they investigate.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby Aliene » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:56 pm

This work appears to now be almost done. A fence panel has been damaged from piling soil against it and the labourer said he would replace it, which he has not yet done. Also, a couple of slabs have been damaged along the path which I will say need to be repaired.

What can I do if the damage isn't repaired? I think my neighbour knows that a solicitor will be costly and is pretty much doing what he likes.

Thank you.
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Re: Replacing water pipes on shared access land

Postby ukmicky » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:25 am

Aliene

Your neighbour has dug up your land and laid water pipes without your permission and you haven't done anything . Fixing a couple paving slabs is a minor compared.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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