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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 813
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I own a private dwelling house on land surrounded by the property

Customer Question

I own a private dwelling house on land surrounded by the property of a limited liability company that owns the land surrounding my house. Portsmouth Water need to replace the water pipe with a pipe of a higher gauge as I am rebuilding the house on my property, this replacement water pipe will need to come from the field next my house and under the private road all owned by the limited liability company. The company gave me permission for this once Portsmouth Water said they would repair the road up to 2 years after installing the replacement water pipe, it is unlikely damage will occur as they are moling under the road rather than digging and filling a tench. Now the MD of the company has told Portsmouth Water they may not undertake the works because the company is in dispute with me as to my planting of some young trees they claim are on their land and I claim are not. I was hoping that the 2 should not be related and that there was a law to say I could not be denied water to my private dwelling and so Portsmouth Water could carry out the work while the other unrelated dispute was resolved. Up till now the company has allowed me to tench in electricity which was completed after the company told Portsmouth Water they could not carry out their works, Other properties in the same position as me, ie houses surrounded by land owned by the company are currently being allowed to have the water companies install new water piping from the company land as the water main runs through the company land for the surrounding private dwellings. Additionally I am a shareholder of the company, I would be most grateful for your advice.

With many thanks,

Thomas Gatacre
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a Lawyer with ob er 15 years experience I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Do you have an easement over the surrounding land for the passage of the water pipes? Ii there is do you know the terms of the easement? Did the company put their agreement to the work in writing. Were the people laying the pipe going to improve the road or put it back in the condition it had been before the work started and do the Water Co use it too? Qhar do you mean by "tench in electricity"?

JACUSTOMER-hcehefpa- :

I am not sure about an easement, best to assume not. The company said if it was to go ahead the moling under the road would have to be guaranteed for 2 years which Portsmouth Water agreed to comply with. Road would not be improved and pipe is going under road with mole machine so no trench dug. The water company would use the road to read other houses meters and for access to the main water pipe running through the companies field. Another utility company that made a trench in the road, to get their electricty to supply my house with a new cable and then filled it, the company that did this work also works for the company to repair their road, that is why we used them to keep the company happy or try to.

LondonlawyerJ :

It may well be that the Company are technically wrong to link the 2 issues. Was there an unambiguous agreement in writing (or written confirmation from you to them) to allow the pipes to be laid with no conditions attached. If so then you might well be able to force them to allow the work. However, if there ins't anything clear in writing then the company could easily dispute the existence or nature of any agreement. This could lead to long and costly delays. Is there a reason why you wouldn't want to remove the trees now and then replant them after the pipe has been laid? Your position would be greatly strengthened if you did have an easement. You can checkvonline at http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/property-ownership.