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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10773
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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We were the owners of Sandford House in Farnham until 2014.

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We were the owners of Sandford House in Farnham until 2014. There is an alleyway along the side of Sanford House to the back of our garden which we had used since the purchase of the property in 1986. In 2006 four smaller properties were created along the side of the alleyway. When we sold the property in November 2014 we retained part of the end of the garden and were subsequently granted a planning permission for a new house. The people along the alleyway did apparently have no objection to an easement so that we could get electricity, water and telephone to the new house.
However only one of the three have granted an easement and the other two are dragging their feet. The problem for one is their building society ( though they were supposedly approached about two months ago. The other is complaining about damage to the alley way ( manly caused by the person who bought our house)
My question is whether we need to have a formal easement in place to have a trench dug for the water and electricity and phone, particularly since we have been using the alleyway to drive over for over thirty years in total.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Hi John,Thanks for your enquiry.The fact that you had been using the access as aright of way does not automatically give you any other rights over the alley at all, I'm afraid.You therefore need to look at your title deeds to see if any old rights were granted for the benefit of Sandford House (if the retained land was included in Sandford House's title) or the title to the garden land you have retained if this was on a separate title to Sandford House.If there are no old rights (and to be honest, I'd be surprised if there were rights granted for you to lay services along the alleyway), you will indeed need a formal Deed of Grant from the owner(s) of the alleyway.It would be worth you instructing a local Conveyancing Solicitor to check the current position for you.I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.Kind RegardsAl
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi AlThe problem is that initially the occupants of the alley way agreed to grant me easements but only one has completed an agreement. The other two are spending an eternity and not completing even though I have told them through my solicitor that the matter was urgent. I understand that the water company and the electricity do have certain statutory rights in this matter. The house we are building is almost complete ( we have been 'borrowing'water and electricity from the one compliant neighbour. Does the fact that originally the other two neighbours agreed to provide an easement have any weight? We have sent them a standard easement document. Can we give them a time limit for them to complete or we continue with the utilities trench regardless. What are the dangers for me if we do that.Many thanks***** *****e
Hi,I am afraid that until the other 2 owners sign the Deed of easement, you have no legal right to lay the services whatsoever, even if they have intimated their consent orally.The danger of proceeding without the signed Deed is that the owners could take out an injunction stopping the work or asking you to remove the services, once laid, which would turn out to be an expensive exercise.Sorry I can't give you a more favourable reply.Kind RegardsAl