There may come a time when you find out that the utility pipes for your neighbour’s property run under your land. You may be wondering what you should do if this is the case. It’s obviously not an ideal situation and you need to know where you stand from a legal perspective. It can be a complicated situation but we are going to take a look at some of the basic things you should know as a starting point.
It’s important that you know whether the pipes do definitely run under your land. If they do, you need to discover what you can do about it.
Clarifying where the pipes are located
Just because your neighbour thinks the utility pipes for their property run under your land does not mean that they actually do. You will probably want to determine the positioning of the pipes for certain. This can be complicated to do, especially if there are no visible signs and the pipes are hidden under hard surfaces such as concrete.
There are professionals you can hire who use equipment to confirm what is located under hard surfaces without the surface having to be disturbed. You can take a look at this link for more information about this type of service. Once you have determined that the pipes do run under your land you need to find out how you should proceed.
What you should about the pipes running under your land
If your neighbour has told you about the pipes under your land because there is a problem with them you may want to think carefully about how you wish to proceed. For instance, a cracked and outdated sewer pipe may well be connected to your household drainage system too, so it may be a good idea to co-operate with your neighbour.
This sort of situation often happens as most pipe systems that run under neighbouring properties tend to be old. Modern planning means that this problem does not normally occur with newer pipes.
If you want to try and get the pipes re-routed from under your property it can be complicated. Your neighbour may automatically have easement if you should reasonably have known that the pipes were there. There may be a note in the deeds of your property, or some physical sign of the pipe system. The best thing to do is seek legal advice about what your options are.
As you can see, discovering that the utility pipes for your neighbour’s property run under your land can present significant problems. The most important thing to do first is to clarify where the pipes are actually located. Once you have done this you will know whether you actually have a problem or not.
Even if it does turn out to be the case you should not panic. You may be able to come to an amicable agreement with your neighbour. If you are not able to then it’s possible you may have to approach the court to resolve the situation.