Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried out

This forum is for Garden Law problems that don't fit into the other categories. Please treat it with respect.

Moderator: Angelisle

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:56 am

Collaborate wrote:
ukmicky wrote:The wording of your easement means nothing in this case because statute law overrides your easement rights . You said the council ordered the works to be performed so if you and your neighbour wanted to continue to use it the upgrade had to happen.

If the well had continued to only supply one residence the council would have had no power to order works to be performed. However Under the law of easements the servient owner must retain the right to also use the water supply so it only serving your property previously makes no difference and is not an argument you will win.

Because the council ordered that works had to be performed under the law someone had to foot the bill. As I mentioned recently in another thread for your easement to be legal it must be at no expense to the servient owner and therefore you are legally obliged to pay your fair share towards the upgrade that had to be carried out if you wish to continue to benefit from your easement rights .. The only point of discussion for you and your neighbour is what works were required under the order from the council and was the cost of those works reasonable.
There is nothing in the easement forcing the servient owner to spend the money. That makes for a crucial distinction.
Hi Collaborate,

What does that mean?...does that work for or against me?

Thanks.

despair
Posts: 16151
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:07 am

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by despair » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:10 am

It simply means that by law you are required to pay a fair proportion of the genuine cost of the upgrade

That is not a back of a fag packet slip of paper from his 3 mates or relatives

It must be a properly costed invoice complete with exact details if the work and should have been best of 3 professional quotes

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:03 pm

Hi Despair,

I have received no quotes or what i consider proper, itemised invoices to date or even a description of what works were actually carried out. So this is what i am asking for in my return letter to my neighbours solicitior.

I would also like to see what has been done with my own eyes.

I expect i'll get a response saying they have already provided an invoice (the piece of paper with contractors names and costs on) and will say they are taking me to court to recoup the costs if i dont pay up. But as my sol said, they would be ill-advised to proceed to court when im simply asking for more info on the works.

My concern is they get their mates who did the work to make up some invoices that show the costs that my neighbour has 'made-up'.

Statute law vs common law. I understand that the statute law applied here is that a notice was served stating the works had to be done to bring the spring system up to the latest regulations. The works have been done and therfore statute law has been abided by. My common law rights should not be effected by this now...but i guess you guys might know better here?? :shock:

Cheers.

Collaborate
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:35 pm

despair wrote:It simply means that by law you are required to pay a fair proportion of the genuine cost of the upgrade

That is not a back of a fag packet slip of paper from his 3 mates or relatives

It must be a properly costed invoice complete with exact details if the work and should have been best of 3 professional quotes
No it doesn't. It means that nothing in the easement compels OP to contribute.

No one in replying to this thread has provided any law or authority by which the neighbour can get OP to pay. If the neighbour takes OP to court to force a contribution that will be the first thing a judge will ask for, and no one here has an answer. Perhaps that's because the answer is there is nothing in law to force OP to pay.

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:29 pm

Collaborate wrote:
despair wrote:It simply means that by law you are required to pay a fair proportion of the genuine cost of the upgrade

That is not a back of a fag packet slip of paper from his 3 mates or relatives

It must be a properly costed invoice complete with exact details if the work and should have been best of 3 professional quotes
No it doesn't. It means that nothing in the easement compels OP to contribute.

No one in replying to this thread has provided any law or authority by which the neighbour can get OP to pay. If the neighbour takes OP to court to force a contribution that will be the first thing a judge will ask for, and no one here has an answer. Perhaps that's because the answer is there is nothing in law to force OP to pay.

Hi Collaborate,

That would seem great from my pov. You mentioned before that you believed that upgrade comes under renewal, which my sol also agreed with. What now makes you think why now you say they cannot compel me to pay? sorry for my confusion.

ukmicky
Posts: 4631
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:59 pm

Collaborate wrote:
ukmicky wrote:The wording of your easement means nothing in this case because statute law overrides your easement rights . You said the council ordered the works to be performed so if you and your neighbour wanted to continue to use it the upgrade had to happen.

If the well had continued to only supply one residence the council would have had no power to order works to be performed. However Under the law of easements the servient owner must retain the right to also use the water supply so it only serving your property previously makes no difference and is not an argument you will win.

Because the council ordered that works had to be performed under the law someone had to foot the bill. As I mentioned recently in another thread for your easement to be legal it must be at no expense to the servient owner and therefore you are legally obliged to pay your fair share towards the upgrade that had to be carried out if you wish to continue to benefit from your easement rights .. The only point of discussion for you and your neighbour is what works were required under the order from the council and was the cost of those works reasonable.
There is nothing in the easement forcing the servient owner to spend the money. That makes for a crucial distinction.
The OP posted the following
So, I have looked at the covenants on my title and regarding the Spring Water System it says: the following rights are granted subject to contributing a reasonable proportion calculated according to user of the expense from time to time incurred with maintaining, repairing and renewing the same
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

ukmicky
Posts: 4631
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:32 pm

Lets play what could happen if the OP does not play the game carefully here because if they don’t they could find the new legal requirements has voided there previous easement leaving them with no water supply because I can garrantee the new legal requirements will have caused changes to be made to the system that have gone beyond the terms of the original easement.

The old easement was for the old equipment and allowed them to repair,replace and renew, it does not allow them to increase the burden on the servient land by placing totally new equipment on totally new areas of land and it also does not allow them to use any new equipment placed on new areas of land not used before such as the new settlement tank.

The servient owner was also under no obligation to upgrade the system for the benefit of the OP and supply them with a new water connection. He could have simply told the OP to sort out their own connection that complied with the law and he can still do so which would leave the Op with no choice but to perform their own separate upgrade .

There will be old common parts of the system that they could branch off but in order to comply with the law they would require new equipment and if that new equipment needs to be placed on new areas of the servient owners land as they have no legal right to occupy new areas land or airspace under the old easement the servient landowner could simply refuse to agree to a new easement which leaving the OP without a water supply.

The money requested by the servient owner suddenly looks very reasonable when you consider what it could cost the OP if they are forced to pay for a new easement and there own equipment.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

ukmicky
Posts: 4631
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:27 pm

Also the OP paying towards the upgrade has its benefits because If a new easement is required to take into account the changes on the ground, acceptance of the money will provide evidence towards an implied right negating the need to formally draft a new easement.

Once money is accepted there would also be a good estoppel argument if in the future someone tried to challenge the OPs right to use the water source.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:38 am

Hi Ukmicky

I dont understand why or how could a new easement be required?
My neighbours are required to supply me water from the water system which is on their land. They have decided to create more or less a new water system and decommissioned the old, when they could have simply renewed the old water system. The notice served by the council didnt say you must create a new water system. It was a notice to basically bring it up to current regs.

They have done what the works without even involving or notyfying me (although its their land, they can do as they please) and now have plucked some numbers out of thin air and decided to bill me after the works have been done.

If it was that easy to nullify an easement would everyone be at it?


Hi Collaborate,

in a previous message you said 'No it doesn't. It means that nothing in the easement compels OP to contribute.

No one in replying to this thread has provided any law or authority by which the neighbour can get OP to pay. If the neighbour takes OP to court to force a contribution that will be the first thing a judge will ask for, and no one here has an answer. Perhaps that's because the answer is there is nothing in law to force OP to pay.'


Do you think its worth putting in my letter something along the lines of 'Please confirm where in the easement it compels me to contribute'?? Do you think the works carried out are outside of what my title says ie what im required to pay towards?

Thanks guys.

Collaborate
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:41 am

Do you think its worth putting in my letter something along the lines of 'Please confirm where in the easement it compels me to contribute'?? Do you think the works carried out are outside of what my title says ie what im required to pay towards?
Absolutely. It's for them to prove you owe them the money.

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:06 am

Not sure if i already have said...but the letter which they sent me demanding the money already says i am obliged to contribute as per the wording in the easement.
So is that enough proof?

Collaborate
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:21 pm

Everything turns on the definition of maintaining, repairing and renewing. I think it likely that the easement does mean that you have to contribute.

The clause does not entitle them to charge you whatever they want. That is where your challenge should be concentrated. You want to see full itemised VAT invoices and details of quotes obtained prior to the works being done.

ukmicky
Posts: 4631
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:13 pm
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20
Location: London

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:43 am

Hi Ukmicky

I dont understand why or how could a new easement be required?
My neighbours are required to supply me water from the water system which is on their land. They have decided to create more or less a new water system and decommissioned the old, when they could have simply renewed the old water system. The notice served by the council didnt say you must create a new water system. It was a notice to basically bring it up to current regs.

They have done what the works without even involving or notifying me (although its their land, they can do as they please) and now have plucked some numbers out of thin air and decided to bill me after the works have been done.

If it was that easy to nullify an easement would everyone be at it?


The easement you have is to allow you to draw water and I assume pipe it to your house . Your neighbors are not required to supply it as that is a service which under the law can’t be an easement. An easement also has an ancillary right which allows you to maintain and renew the equipment you use to draw the water because if you couldn’t at sometime the right to draw water could come to an end as things wear out. Occasionally an extra check will be put in place which also allows a servient owner to repair or renew and charge the dominant tenement a fair proportion of the cost in case they don't maintain it themselves under their ancillary rights . These covenants are normally put in place where the servient land owner also uses the equipment .

The easement rights you have cover the parts that were originally used to supply you with water and the specific area of land that they occupied unless something else is expressly mentioned increasing your rights above the standard ancillary rights. Under the basic rights if there was one pipe going over his land to your land and one tank occupying his land you couldn't put a second tank or pipe on his land or if the pipe was 6 inch’s in width your easement rights would only allow you to replace that six inch pipe with another 6 inch pipe or one smaller. To put another way under a slightly different scenario ,as statute law is superior to common law if you had a Right of way that was 6 foot wide and the government came out with a new law that said it needed to be 8 foot wide for it to be legally used your old easement would no longer be valid as the servient owner would not be under any legal obligation to agree to the extra width or a new easement to cover the extra width.


The council sent a notice saying the system had to be improved and brought up to todays standards which your neighbour did because it had to done for the benifit of all users . If in order to bring the system up to todays standards new equipment above and beyond that which was there before was required and that new equipment can not be said to be a direct replacement for the old parts or dont occupy the same ground areas as before because it needed to be larger installation in order to comply with the regs your old easement would not cover the new additions. You may find for instance under the new regs you required a new settlement tank so impurities could be removed from the water before they got to the taps and the size of that tank would probably depend on how much water was drawn out of the well each day. Before you may have only needed a small collection tank.


He probably is unaware of the full implications that may have occurred to your easement when the system was updated and If you pay him money towards the new system the law would take that as confirmation that the neighbour has agreed to allow you to continue as before . So if a new easement was required ,acceptance of the money would basically be deemed as agreement to any new rights needed by you. The one thing you have to understand ,he was under no obligation to bring the system up to today’s standards for your use. He could have put in a separate system for himself and left your old system in place and left you to do the upgrade yourself for your system . He didn’t do that so we are now where we are . Of course if the neighbour has made changes that were not necessary then it will not affect your easement rights because he has gone beyond that which was required and equity law would say it wouldn't be fair to you to prevent you from using it if he improved it beyond what was required and spent more than he should have. If he did spend more than was reasonable your liabilities should then be reduced and brought down to what would be reasonable .

You say you received a notice saying it need to be improved ,so what you need to do is work out if he could have brought it up to standard using less new equipment and less money. You however need to be careful how you approach it because if you annoy him to much and it turns out to bring it up to standard the works he performed were required and those works have taken what’s on his land outside the scope of the old easement he could make your life very difficult. That doesn’t mean give in to him but it does mean be careful how you approach it . Check out the notice sent to you and him from the council in case they are different .Ask the council what works they said had to be performed and then make an informed decision how to proceed. You may find what he did had to be done and the cost of those works was reasonable.

If you don't want to pay anything then I would assume as you were not involved in the decision making process he could not prevent you installing your own equipment as long as what you installed kept within the terms of your old easement and as the well is on his land complied with the law.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

how_much
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:47 am

Hi Micky,

Thanks again for your reply...although its blown my mind :shock:

My solicitor didnt anything about the water system not being an easement. My understanding is that my neighbours cant restrict and or stop my water supply from the water system as that would breach of the covenant as well as my human rights ie a supply of water.

I think im just going to stick with the facts at this time in that i need more info from my neighbours so i can then decide what is a fair amount to pay.
I have done some works already ie had to dig a trench and connect the new pipe from boundary of my garden into my house at my own expense, which will fall under some of the works required as per the notice. So i have in fact already contributed 'something' towards the new water system.

Thanks.

Collaborate
Posts: 1280
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:16 pm

Don't get fixated on the human rights angle. It's not for private citizens to guarantee your human rights. The HRA gives citizens rights against the state.

Post Reply