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  1. #1

    Default No easements on property title

    I'm new to property talk and I hope I'm posting on the right thread, but I hoped I could get your thoughts on my situation:

    The property title to my house (I bought it two years ago) has no easements listed on it. I recently started some digging only to find I'd cut through my neighbour's telephone line. They came out complaining, waving papers, and saying "we have an easement". I've checked with mine and their lawyers and they don't. They are now contacting their surveyor and council (the neighbour did the subdivision) to see what went wrong. However, I've now discovered that as well as phone lines, their power and water also go through my land, leaving me no useable land (it's a small 500 sqm section). How would you guys view this situation? (Note it's doubly tricky as I want to build a shed near the boundary and the neighbour's might not agree if I don't grant the easement, it also might be the case that my drainage goes to a drain on their land again with no easement). Thoughts please....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    139

    Default

    I'm looking forward to the legal talent on this site commenting, but my initial take is that you own some freehold I guess that you paid good money for. Any easement seen prior to purchase will have detracted from that value by a variety of sums small to large. I hate easements unless they are mine over other folks land. I will not agree ever to any easement over my land without the most careful analysis and I recommend you find another option for your shed idea. Put simply my attitude is tell your neighbour to get his stuff off your land...nicely of course.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,426

    Default

    I would suggest you build the shed legally - ie the correct distance from the boundary.
    I'd also investigate your drainage so you know exactly where you stand.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks Grundy and Wayne for your replies. Grundy your view seems to be similar to mine and I'm disappointed the neighbours did such a poor job of the subdivision. Wayne, I certainly intend to do things legally, I just have the feeling that my neighbours will not be in favour of our shed when they have been caught in the wrong with the lack of subdivision easements (and the costs that might entail them to rectify it)...I'll have to wait and see what happens. Cheers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    10,426

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Propertynovice44 View Post
    Wayne, I certainly intend to do things legally, I just have the feeling that my neighbours will not be in favour of our shed when they have been caught in the wrong with the lack of subdivision easements
    If it is done legally then it doesn't matter if the are in favour or not - you can do it.
    By legally I mean not up against the fence as most do. I know in many places you have to have it a certain distance from the fence (as far away as it is tall) and they are limited in size.

    I say again - if done correctly then they can complain as much as they like but you are allowed to do it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cambridge, NZ
    Posts
    1,375

    Default

    A lot of services were put in place by councils (especially) and the old power ministry without proper easements. However, the Acts which set up the SOEs such as Telecom and the like included provisions deeming them to have effectively easement rights for the lines they'd laid.

    In short, there might be nothing on the titles, but they could still have an easement (more accurately, the Council or Chorus or Vector might) and you'd need to get legal advice before digging them up or building over them.

    A lot depends on when they were put in.....and the implication from your post is that it was recent, which would tend to indicate they stuffed up and there is no easement, deemed or otherwise. Tend to......

    If push came to shove, they might seek a court order granting them easements at their expense and with a market price paid to you. The likelihood of such an order often depends on whether any practical alternatives exist for the neighbour.

    Wayne was suggesting you build back form the boundary so the neighbour can't use that as a stick to get the easements they want. Seems like a good idea to me....but, still, you are definitely in need of legal overview to work through your best way forward.


 

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