Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify with you whether you have a legal easement for the services or whether the services are provide by virtue of a wayleave agreement between the land owner and the utility company please?
Hi There. please see the attached deed document which hopefully makes sense. this applies to my property.
Hi there please see the attached deed document.
Many thanks for this. Based on the title your property benefits from easements (as opposed to wayleaves) over Manor Drive to connect to and pass water and drainage subject to making good any damage caused in so doing. An easement is a legal right over anothers land. If your supply is inadequate for your needs then you have a right to enlarge the supply subject to making good any damage caused to Manor Drive and subject to such additional needs be for your use of your property for residential purposes and purposes ancillary thereto as opposed to for example commercial purposes.
In addition to the above private rights as an alternative you could consider an application to the local water company under section 159(1)(a) of the Water Industry Act 1991. s159(1)(a) gives water companies the power, for the purpose of carrying out its functions, to lay a water or drainage pipe under private land where it is necessary for the purpose of providing drainage and sewage services however where a water company exercises this power, it must provide compensation to the land owner where there is not already a sufficient private right as would appear to be the case here.
If the land owner is proving elusive you could consider serving notice on him that you propose to commence works after 15 working days unless you hear from him to the contrary and either provide a summary of the works proposed or that such details will be provided to him at a future date prior to work commencing.
Any works you carry out should comply with the water company's requirements and should cause as little disruption as possible to your neighbours land and any damage caused must be made good to the neighbours reasonable satisfaction.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
If you are going through the utility companies directly (which is quite normal) all the utility providers have powers individually to compel a landowner to grant rights fr them to lay infrastructure where this is necessary whether or not the landowner is a willing party or not. The water company under the above legislation already discussed, the electric company under the Electricity Act, the gas company under surprising enough the Gas Act and even Openreach under the Telecommunications Act. Accordingly they do not need the landowner to grant permission via a wayleave.
However having said that the utility companies will attempt to seek agreement from the relevant landowner because the legislation requires them to do so and because there are certain limitations un the legislation for example the Gas Act only allows a gas company to lay pipes under paths and drives etc rather than under lawns and so on.
However if the landowner ultimately refuses to cooperate deliberately or simply because he will not respond you can ask the utility companies to exercise their statutory powers in order to law the infrastructure required. You have a right to be supplied with appropriate services by the utility company to provide for your residential and ancillary needs.
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me