How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

ive recently brought a piece of land at the back of my garden,

Resolved Question:

ive recently brought a piece of land at the back of my garden, so have gained a new neighbour who has a very large pond which in places almost meets, my new boundary where I have installed new fence posts and panels. I'm also installing a summer house/ shed with a toilet, whilst digging the trench for the toilet fowl pipe, with a small mechanical digger, we hit a pipe on my land which was approximately 8ft away from his pond, which leaked we fixed the leak two weeks later my neighbour came to my house, to say his pond was still leaking and that he was very concerned. we have since dug three small test trench's in different places along the original toilet pipe trench, to expose the pipe and pea shingle above and below the pipe, which was dry with no water. Which proved to me the pipe was fixed and not leaking and the water was not seeping though the ground between his pond and the bottom of my trench which would logically be a weak point in the ground for the water to find. He insists the pond is still leaking but im not so sure it is, all maybe it was an excising leak he had before. He seems to be a crafty domineering man so that would not surprise me, am I legally responsible if my trench has caused his pond to leak or is it the legal responsibly of my neighbour to retain the water in his property, if he wants to keep it there and not to rely on something in my property ( My ground ) to retain his water for him , so once again am I legally responsible for the water leak, hope you can answer this for me many thanks Mark.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

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.

Joshua :

May I ask is the pipe you refer to in any related to his pond please or has it nothing to do with the pond directly?

Customer:

it was a blocked balancing / over flow pipe which was linked to his pond, and to another neighbours pond three doors away from us , which we broke and mended with a rubber expansion Bung and then cemented which he asked us to do

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you know if he has a right to use the pipe by reference to your title deeds? Alterantively has the pipe been there for more than 20 years?

Customer:

we think it has been there for more than 20 years, the pond is a natural clay lined pond which has been there over 80 years. we are not sure about the deeds but will try and find out .

Joshua :

Thanks. Finally from what you say has he provided no evidence of any ongoing leaks?

Customer:

The only evidence is that the pond level has dropped 2 or 3 inches, over the last 4 weeks, which ive been advised could be due to weather and evaporation , and he is saying that the ground closest to the pond and my fence panels, is very wet and soft under foot but it was like that 6 weeks ago when we first put the new fence posts in, this part of the ground between the pond and my fence is only 2ft

Joshua :

Thanks. The starting point is that he is responsible for retaining water in and on his land subject to natural topography in terms of water run off. Clearly a pond is not natural topography and therefore if water is leaking out of his pond, the starting point is that is his responsibility to rectify.

Joshua :

If he can show on the balance of probability that works you have carried out to your land have damaged his pond in some way then he can seek damages for the damage but the burden of proof is upon him to show this not for you to prove that you have not damaged his pond just because he claims you have

Joshua :

Accordingly in respect of the pond itself you may wish to consider denying liability in respect of any damage to his pond and putting him to strict proof in respect of any damage he claims you have caused.

Joshua :

In respect of the pipe here the starting point would be that unless he has a right to run the pipe under your land or can show that it has been there for 20 years or more then the pipe amounts to a trespass for which you could consider claiming damages for based on the market value of granting an easement for such a pipe. However if it has been there for more than 20 years as you suspect then he will have a right under the prescription Act by long user. Notwithstanding the above, again if you have damaged the same there would be an obligation to rectify that damage but if you have done so then once again the burden of proof switches to him to evidence that you have not rectified the same.

Customer:

Thank you Joshua, for you advise its been a great help.

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you