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Neighbour building a second house - my risks?

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  • Neighbour building a second house - my risks?

    Hi guys,

    My neighbour is looking to build a second house on his land.
    He needs to connect it to the public storm water pipes, so needs my consent to dig 2 manholes on my land (1 meter and 60 cm wide) and then connect them with a 22cm PVC pipe.

    As the neighbour's new build implies a bit of excavation just 1 meter away from my house (manhole + pipe trench), my concern is a possible damage to my property (loss of lateral land support, which can lead to tilting/subsidence of the house and the surrounding soil).
    The land is sloped (5-30 degrees in different places) and there is already some retaining construction where the digging is requested.
    I do not want to be unreasonable, but looks like giving consent to my neighbour's project entails very expensive risks for me.

    Here is the fragment of my neighbour's plan and a picture of the area (retaining construction where the digging is requested):
    "https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rZIqZepI_mTKU0MbN9PtJcId22_RDyLa/view?usp=sharing"
    "https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ef0f_ceZPMrY_lgkt4tyhJmng5tZyDM1/view?usp=sharing"

    I should definitely seek professional advice (lawyer's and builder's).
    Although I can refuse the consent, I cannot be unreasonable when doing so. I am ok with my neighbour developing his property as long as I don't risk expensive remediation.
    I read on this forum that there is a legal provision to make neighbors give access to a public drain ("https://propertytalk.com/forum/forum/property-investment-forums/new-zealand/property-improvements-nz/41088-"). Not sure if this is correct though.

    Would appreciate any experts' contacts or information/advice on the topic, please.
    Thank you kindly.
    Last edited by HouseOwnerNZ; 20-10-2021, 02:05 PM.

  • #2
    Will the new infrastructure prevent you extending or developing upon your own section?
    Tell the neighbour your concerns. It's their problem to convince you.
    The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

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    • #3
      Look up Land Transfer Regs 2018 - Schedule 5 Rights and powers implied in easements. That's the not unreasonably withhold consent bit.
      Dont pay a lawyer for something your neighbour requires. He will need and easement and you can be paid a consideration ($) for this. And the easement can have conditions in there to protect you. I suggest his lawyer drafts an an "Agreement to grant easement" which allows your lawyer to review at your neighbours cost along with all legal actions to effect the easement.

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      • #4
        Thank you PC and RollingCloud for your comments! Your input is really appreciated.
        Answering PC's question, I am unlikely to build anything major in that area (like a sleepout or another dwelling) as it's already quite close to the edge of my section.
        However, it will prevent me from improving the area, say, to be a quality recreation zone (bbq/patio). That's both construction-wise and aesthetically (with 2 manholes around).
        Last edited by HouseOwnerNZ; 19-10-2021, 02:53 PM.

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        • #5
          I'd say no then.
          Maybe tell them that proposed solution limits your future options.
          Funny how other options will appear when the cheapest, easiest (for them) is declined.

          I've had a neighbour wanting to put a pipe through the middle of our back section.
          The answer was hell no!
          Instead they put the pipe in along the boundary to a different access point.
          The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

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