DC5

Private water pipe in the way!

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Hi folks we have a private water pipe passing next to our house (in our garden supplying us and other houses). It has to be moved / rerouted a few metres for our extension. 
 

When we bought the house we weren’t told the pipe was private and the solicitor didnt  picked up on it - should they have?

 

We now need to move the pipe and I’m getting conflicting information as to what we can do. SWater aren’t interested as they don’t own it.

 

I’m seeking advice from the solicitor but things are slow so was just interested on some input. I see terms way-leave, easement and servitude mentioned not sure what’s relevant to me and what I should be expecting! 

 

many thanks!!

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I don't see why you cannot just re route it yourself. you would obviously need to notify the other houses when their water was going to be off.

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That’s what I was initially of the understanding. However the pipe owners, agent wants an agreement put in place regarding servitude rights relevant to all parties utilising the pipe. 

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Nah, just do it, put in a  new pipe and accidentally break the old one, apologise and get it “repaired” quickly 🤷‍♂️.

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Haha whilst I suppose that is an option all parties are on good terms so would rather do it the right way, issue is the right way looks like it’s going to cost me £2k in fees getting an agreement drawn up!

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I fail to see why it would cost £2k, it’s existing on your land so any rights that exist are retained, if in a slightly different location. This sounds like a money making racket. Surely if the existing “rights “ include a map just get it altered that should not cost £2k???.

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9 hours ago, DC5 said:

pipe owners, agent


Who ..??? 
 

If this is a private supply and there are no easements etc, then they are without any rights !! I take it they are concerned that you’ve realised this and you have a right to use the supply but everyone above you could be affected so are now trying to fix a legal issue that is pre-existing ... 

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I don’t see how they can “own” the pipe if it’s on your land with no contract/easement/wayleave

11 hours ago, DC5 said:

it’s going to cost me £2k in fees getting an agreement drawn up!


or it’s going to cost them £2k to have their pipe on your land!!!!

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It's a pretty simple and quick job to divert a small diameter pipe. As in you can do all the works before anybody notices. 7am on a Saturday morning for a 30min shutoff would be perfect... What size is it?

 

And no, there's no way your solicitor would have found that in a search.

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16 hours ago, PeterW said:


Who ..??? 
 

If this is a private supply and there are no easements etc, then they are without any rights !! I take it they are concerned that you’ve realised this and you have a right to use the supply but everyone above you could be affected so are now trying to fix a legal issue that is pre-existing ... 

The pipe is owned by an estate, they have a land agent company to manage things.

 

This is a good point and the impression they gave me was that it was my issue and I would be responsible / liable, they also mentioned servitude / other agreements that other properties may have on the pipe, I assume that is regarding supply? You are right in that it appears they may be trying to make me pay for their original mistake and if I was to do that it would be to my detriment. 

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14 hours ago, joe90 said:

I don’t see how they can “own” the pipe if it’s on your land with no contract/easement/wayleave


or it’s going to cost them £2k to have their pipe on your land!!!!


I like your general thinking, and after a lot of reading I think you’re right - there should definitely have been an agreement and their conveyancer should have picked up on that when I bought the land.

 

The impression I was given was the my solicitor should have picked this up, do any parties normally check services maps during conveyancing?

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They can "own" it. Exactly what do you and their deeds and other documents say about the pipe?  Forget what they are asking for, what do the existing documents say? They sometimes give both parties rights specifically for eventualities like this.

 

 

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8 hours ago, DC5 said:

The impression I was given was the my solicitor should have picked this up, do any parties normally check services maps during conveyancing?


yes in England - it’s part of the disbursements you pay for in the searches. 

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9 minutes ago, PeterW said:

yes in England - it’s part of the disbursements you pay for in the searches. 


but only if it was declared/documented in the first place surely ???? Perhaps it was not found because no one made it formal?.

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That’s interesting to know - this was in Scotland though?

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Just now, joe90 said:


but only if it was declared/documented in the first place surely ???? Perhaps it was not found because no one made it formal?.

It does show on the SWater services map as a private main - they showed me on site on a laptop, but I’ll need to get a copy. 

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Just now, DC5 said:

It does show on the SWater services map as a private main - they showed me on site on a laptop, but I’ll need to get a copy. 


so your solicitor missed it?.?

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Yes, but it was stated on home report as SW are the supplier, which technically they are however it’s nice SWs pipe!

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Personally I would tell the agent as no formal agreement is in place then you are quite entitled to move the pipe on your land and you will liaise with the other users as to the timing of the change over. If they want a formal agreement you will sign one if they get it drawn up. Don’t be bullied and this does not mean falling out with anyone.

Edited by joe90
Spelling!

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Thanks everyone so far!

I’ve got hold of the title deeds and surprisingly it details servitude rights in favour of us regarding service media, access and repair / replacement of said service media. The wording is in plain law so I’ll be getting our solicitor to translate at the first opportunity as there are also servitude rights regarding services for the estate.

 

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Hi folks just a bit of an update to this, it appears that the rights we have on our title seem to cover what is required (for now) so fortunately that will make things a bit cheaper / easier.

The conveyancing solicitor is quite adamant they never missed anything so maybe a lesson learned that if I (you?) were to be buying land its worth getting a services survey and check for servitudes carried out, ironically as the pipes were in our case private and don't always show on services maps I'm fairly certain they wouldn't show up in a survey anyway unless it was a physical one!!??

Thanks for all the input thus far!

 

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If you end up getting  an updated agreement --then make sure that any repairs required in future will be shared by all those on this private main 

how many houses does it serve  and what dia pipe is it? 63mm? 

I am guessing you pay the water company direct for the usage  

 

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