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propertylawyer
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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Background The bottom of my garden adjoins a 2 acre field

Resolved Question:

Background
The bottom of my garden adjoins a 2 acre field which was owned by previous owner of my house. There was a swimming pool and later he kept some cows there and ran a black water pipe on the surface along a hedge in what is now my garden to a tap the field from which he filled a water trough/topped up the pool. At the house the pipe was connected to a tap when water was needed.
When the field was sold there were no cows and the swimming pool was filled in about 15 years ago.
The pipe along my hedge got buried in the under hedge growth. part was melted in a fire. It was not used for some 20 years.
Two years ago a person in the village bought the field, put in a few sheep and a wildlife pond and planted some trees. This is a wildlife project, not commercial. Their only access is via a right of way over another field. The owner of that field refused permission to put in a proper water supply from the water main at the road. So the new pond was filled by tankers of water using the right of way.
When I met my new neighbour and heard of their water supply problem I offered to try and resurrect the old pipe that came across my garden to the field. They could phone when they needed to top up the pond or water trough for the sheep and I would connect it to a tap for an hour or so. Sometimes longer.
I recovered the old pipe and replaced the damaged sections and put an old tap on a fence post of our mutual boundary fence. I connect it to an outside tap on my house when asked.
My neighbour has been extremely grateful and I am happy to have helped. They have offered to pay but my water is not metered and so there is no added cost for me and so I refused any payment. This is an informal arrangement with nothing in writing.
Question
Could this informal arrangement create a right over time to a water supply from my house to my neighbour or any future owner of the field?
If a future owner started a commercial operation could he demand as much water as he needed from me?
If yes, can I eliminate that risk by entering into an agreement with my neighbour that creates a yearly arrangement, renewable each year?
If yes, should I make a token charge?
My water supply company is keen on installing meters and maybe one day they might just do it. Should I write a provision into the agreement to cancel it if a meter is installed?
I welcome any other advice or guidance. The property is in England.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 11 months ago.

Hi

It would take 20 years for this arrangement to become a prescribed right benefitting your neighbour.

Your should create a formal arrangement, contract not an easement, renewable annually allowing you to pass on any charges and to terminate at will if necessary.

Kind regards

Paul

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for that information. I will put a contract in place. It would be helpful if you could point to where I could find a framework of a contract I could develop for this purpose. I am not expecting a contract draft but if you know somewhere on the web where I could find a comparable contract outline to get me started. Thanks.
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 11 months ago.

Hi

Not sure where on the Web you would find a precedent. I would have to say that you should get a lawyer to draft one up for you. You could see if a local solicitor would set it up on a fixed fee. Just to make sure it is done correctly.

propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 270
Experience: Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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