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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10944
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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22 years ago I bought my farmhouse in ireland on the condition

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22 years ago I bought my farmhouse in ireland on the condition that I allowed the farmer from whom I bought the house free water in his top field. five years ago I found a pipe leading to the bottom field. foolishly I let the matter go. The farmer has been sub letting the fields for 22 years. I have now been told that as my agreement was with the farmer, not the subletees, the agreement is void and I should be paid for my water. Is this correct. Also, for the first time the farmer has put large cows in both fields 45 in number, which I calculate is 365 euros per week in water charges worked out at six cents per gallon. My pump is a domestic one and will burn out. Advice please on these matters and as to whether the farmer has been acting illegally re. the subletting and my water rights Yours, Rose.

Buachaill :

1. At the outset, your agreement to allow the farmer free water in his top field still stands. It is not void by reason of the fact he or his sub-lesses have been also supplying the lower field with water. However, there is a difference between allowing the farmer take the benefit of the water supply and paying for his water. You are under no legal obligation to pay for the farmer's water used, now that there is payment being introduced for water supply. so whilst you will have a continuing obligation to make available water to the top field, this water is to be paid for by the farmer. Here you should get a separate meter installed to measure the use by the farmer in his top field.

Buachaill :

2. as regards XXXXX XXXXX flowing into the lower field, you can either reach an agreement regarding it with the farmer or you can call upon him to shut it off. Whilst good neighbourly relations lend themselves to allowing him to take off the water, you should certainly ensure this water use is metered.and paid for by the farmer together with teh water used in the top field. You are under no legal obligation to pay for any water not used by you. Additionally, if the water use by these two field will burn out your pump you can insist that the farmer either replace it with a larger pump at his expense or you can shut off the water. Be aware that if you cut off the water, then this farmer will probably be able to claim a wayleave over your land to put a pipe in to take the water. So you are better off reach some agreement which you find satisfactory, ensuring that this farmer pays for his own water. Finally, be aware that the position in relation to the water is not affected by the sub letting.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX helpful, however would you be kind enough to clarify the following; 'there is a difference between allowing the farmer take the benefit of the water supply and paying for his water.'- also the agreement was verbal, but I assume this still would constitute a legal agreement. yours, Rose.

Buachaill :

3. Just because you allow the farmer take off water from your supply does not mean you have to pay for it for him. He has to pay for it himself. This is what the quoted piece means. Secondly, an agreement is enforceable if it is verbal the same as if it was in writing. So the fact the agreement was verbal makes no difference.

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