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56 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 220388 8-Aug-2017 19:42
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We have an unconsented sewer pipe of our adjacent neighbours running diagonally through our land.

This pipe has no permit, no consent, no easement on our property title. We never knew about it.

It also fails NZ pipe standards with cracks and joints dislodged and is contaminating our land.

Watercare claims its not bad enough to do anything about it.

It is difficult to get meetings with them over many months.

Because we wish to build a family home on our private land Watercare are claiming we have to pay for re route of this unconsented, no permit, no consent, no easememt failed end of life pipe at time of build/consent.

It has no permit from council, there is no easement on our property file.

Has anyone one else had similar issues and how did you approach it?
Any recommendations , and experiences dealing with them.

rgs



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  Reply # 1841423 8-Aug-2017 19:44
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Pay for it, get on with it. These are the risks with property ownership.





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  Reply # 1841429 8-Aug-2017 19:54
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What do the neighbours say about it?

 

Get them to pay for it to be repaired.





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1841433 8-Aug-2017 20:01
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If it's a private pipeline and not a public asset, I would have thought that the only person you'd be able to get a remedy from would be the neighbour whose house it serves. There might be a pragmatic solution you could agree, with a bit of give and take. For example they pay to relocate the pipeline and you grant them and easement that legitimises it. That might be a drawn out process, or they may just refuse to engage entirely.

Otherwise, you might be left with doing the work and trying to recover the cost, or trying to take some sort of legal action upfront.

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  Reply # 1841444 8-Aug-2017 20:41
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Block the pipe hehe

 

 





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  Reply # 1841447 8-Aug-2017 20:45
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Have Watercare admitted any responsibility? It it their pipe? Who put it there? How did it come to be crossing your property?

 

Was your property subdivided off from the property served by the pipe after the pipe was laid? Perhaps there was there no need for a consent originally?

 

What does your neighbour have to say about it?

 

The correct course of action depends on the answers to these questions.

 

I agree it shouldn't be your responsibility to pay.

 

Depending on how well you get on with your neighbour and how cordial you want that relationship to remain I know what I'd consider as a last resort.





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  Reply # 1841488 8-Aug-2017 21:50
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coffeebaron:

 

Block the pipe hehe

 

 

 

That would totally be my course of action.





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  Reply # 1841490 8-Aug-2017 21:58
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Lias:

 

coffeebaron:

 

Block the pipe hehe

 

 

 

That would totally be my course of action.

 

 

That was was I was alluding to. Just depends on how you want to get on with the neighbours





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  Reply # 1841500 8-Aug-2017 23:42
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coffeebaron:

 

Block the pipe hehe

 

 

 

 

try a lot of silicone and supaglu

 

after first jamming a lot of nappies and potatoes.

 

and then don't give permission to dig on your property


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  Reply # 1841513 9-Aug-2017 01:15
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How old is the property? As there are alot of these no easement situations for pipes and wires dating from the 60s. So it will be allowed to stay there due to existing use rights as it is an essential service.

 

Neighbour is liable to repair leaks as they own the pipe despite it being in your land. Contact building control at the council, they should issue the neighbour a notice to fix it. Then it is easier to get them to negotiate about moving the pipe, as they will have to spend money anyway to get it repaired.

 

Are you in a cross lease with that neighbour? If so then usually all parties to the cross lease have to contribute equally for drainage repairs.

 

Have a look at the council drainage plans for your area - can that neighbour get gravity drainage from their house to a council sewer without having to cross your land or other private land? Could be worth getting a court order for them to pay to reroute their pipe. But guessing gravity drainage only possible through your land.






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  Reply # 1841514 9-Aug-2017 01:16
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If it's contaminating your land should it not be the province of health and safety always good to give them a call and find out what you can do about it 





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Master Geek


  Reply # 1841878 9-Aug-2017 14:51
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Hi guys some good comments.

 

-the pipe was put there in the 60s

 

-watercare recent policy claims ownership of any formerly private pipe thats across someone elses land as now a "public" pipe so we are dealing with Watercare. Neighbour conveniently defers to Watercare.   

 

-the pipe fails NZ pipe standards (independently assessed) for suitability and integrity, and is contaminating our land with cracks, dislodged joints.It is 80 years old end of life, and as I said before no permit, no easement, no consent.

 

-the land hasnt been subdivided nor cross leased.

 

-we never knew about the pipe as there is no record anywhere on title/ LIM.

 

-you cant just cap the pipe even though technically its an illegal pipe as they will come after you for damages.

 

We want to use our private land, they are playing hardball saying its all on you to fix remedy.

 

We dont think we should have to pay for Watercares failed infrastructure, especially an illegal, failed, end of life pipe that doesnt have the right to be there in the first place.

 

They are terrible to deal with and will likely try to hide behind their tax payer funded downtown law firms.

 

So what are the mechanisms against them in this situation? What have people successfully used?

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1841883 9-Aug-2017 15:04
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Sounds like a good case for fair go, as this potentially could affect others too. Sounds like you are in a David and Goliath situation. As it appears it could be a health and safety issue if it is leaking, you should contact the department of health for advice and see if they can go anything.

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  Reply # 1841888 9-Aug-2017 15:10
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tradertim:

 

Hi guys some good comments.

 

-the pipe was put there in the 60s

 

-watercare recent policy claims ownership of any formerly private pipe thats across someone elses land as now a "public" pipe so we are dealing with Watercare. Neighbour conveniently defers to Watercare.   

 

-the pipe fails NZ pipe standards (independently assessed) for suitability and integrity, and is contaminating our land with cracks, dislodged joints.It is 80 years old end of life, and as I said before no permit, no easement, no consent.

 

-the land hasnt been subdivided nor cross leased.

 

-we never knew about the pipe as there is no record anywhere on title/ LIM.

 

-you cant just cap the pipe even though technically its an illegal pipe as they will come after you for damages.

 

We want to use our private land, they are playing hardball saying its all on you to fix remedy.

 

We dont think we should have to pay for Watercares failed infrastructure, especially an illegal, failed, end of life pipe that doesnt have the right to be there in the first place.

 

They are terrible to deal with and will likely try to hide behind their tax payer funded downtown law firms.

 

So what are the mechanisms against them in this situation? What have people successfully used?

 

 

Why not consult a land lawyer? the pipe is causing nuisance, and while how it got there is beyond your control, that it is owned as a public pipe damaging your property sounds like something a court could look at.

 

 





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  Reply # 1841914 9-Aug-2017 15:40
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What does your legal adviser have to say?

 

 


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  Reply # 1841921 9-Aug-2017 15:50
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antoniosk:

 

 

 

Why not consult a land lawyer? the pipe is causing nuisance, and while how it got there is beyond your control, that it is owned as a public pipe damaging your property sounds like something a court could look at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds pricey. Going to court for that sort of thing will likely be a lot more than just pays for the pipe to be moved etc. Although the disputes tribunal could be an option? I think the OP may have to pay for it to be moved anyway, because if it was on the easement, then they would have probably had to pay for it to be moved anyway if they are wanting to build over it. I think their point is that it isn't shown that there is a pipe anywhere. But that is NZ 50 years ago. It is likely councils have also merged and lost documents, as that is often an excuse use.


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