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Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby gid » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:15 pm

The "Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992" can allow you access to your neighbours land in order to do works to your own land. It does not give you the right to work on their drains.

You might have some luck with the Land Drainage Act, but it is difficult to force the authorities to act on your behalf as you have found, and the relief may only be temporary. Enforcing it by legal means is usually far more expensive than diverting the flow within your own boundaries.
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby Millbrook2 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:39 pm

Do you have legal cover on your home insurance?

Not sure this adds anything but check it out;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/prop ... wered.html

more useful stuff here;

http://www.legal500.com/developments/1231
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby aitch » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:51 pm

Thankyou gid and Millbrook2 for your replies.

I hadn't realised gid that "Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992" was to allow work on my own land. Presumably, this would be if I can't access something (such as fence posts or tree branches) from my own land. I hadn't thought about it that way and It will be unlikely that I can pursue the problem from that angle now, which is a bit of a blow for me, however, thank you for bringing it to my attention. As mentioned earlier the local council will not help with enforcing the Land Drainage Act, so I cannot see how I can use it without considerable legal expense.

I do not have legal cover on my home insurance Millbrook2 also thank you for those links and the legal500 in particular looks very interesting. I have a lot of reading up to do now to try and get my head around all that information and the links to the various case law examples also. Nuisance looks like a possible route, but complicated. Nuisance and negligence was mentioned by atticus early on in this discussion, it looks as if I am going to have pursue this problem from that angle, somehow.

Thanks again to everyone.

Regards Aitch
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby aitch » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:44 pm

Would it be likely that I could obtain an access order under "The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992" to carry out further investigation of the drainage system? Without proof that the flow of water in the drain has been obstructed, blocked or altered in any way It would likely prove hard for me to bring any claim for Nuisance.

Thanks

Aitch
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:44 pm

The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 only allows access to neighbouring land to carry out work on your own land, not to carry out work on the neighbouring land.

The law has been discussed and aitch now needs to take legal advice armed with at least some idea of the relevant law. Finding the right lawyer is important since the precise legal position is not entirely clear. The average conveyancer knows enough about easements and the like to do conveyancing and ensure necessary rights are present or granted. The average dispute lawyer's knowledge will tend to be restricted to what he has learned to pass exams and come across in his career to date. At the other end of the spectrum of expertise is a specialist property litigation lawyer working in a solicitors' practice or a barrister from a set specialising in land law. In between is the lawyer with more than average knowledge who may not know the answer but who understands the issues sufficiently to be able to phrase questions for a specialist to answer.

It is easier to find a specialist barrister than a specialist non-barrister lawyer, but the problem with seeking a barrister's opinion is that it is only a good as the case made out to him. Unless aitch feels confident that he can present his case adequately he ineeds to see a non-barrister lawyer. What he needs to avoid is a lawyer who pussyfoots around racking up costs when urgent action is needed. What he needs to avoid at all costs is a lawyer who does not know what he is doing who pussyfoots around racking up costs when urgent action is needed.
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby dls » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:21 pm

Before you do anything in law get a clear idea of what it would cost to sort it within your own boundaries.
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby 3.14 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:29 pm

Wouldn't it be cheaper to sort out on your own property? What if it needs to be repaired or modified in the future? Are you going to sue them every time?
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby aitch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:11 am

Thank you theycantdothat, dls, & 3.14 for your comments. It's quite late so I will try and keep my reply brief. I certainly agree theycantdothat that I need legal help from the right lawyer or specialist barrister. I thought I'd have all this sorted out in the small claims court in front of a district judge, but can now see this has all the hallmarks of a monumental legal battle & one that I am just not sure I can afford to fund.

A quick question in passing before I retire for the night. This watercourse runs at the side of my property which makes me a Riparian owner at least in respect of that part of the watercourse. The actual problem part of the drainage system though is further back behind my house, garden and garage under the other land owners land as we have discussed.

My garage is, however, adjacent to [land A's] land which is behind my garage. [Land A's] land has under it 'The Well' (further back) and 'a Culvert' running from the Well under the ground discharging into the watercourse on [land C] which then runs along the side of my property. Would I also be classed as a Riparian owner regarding the [land A] behind my garage with the Well & Culvert running under it or just the watercourse running at the side of my house?

Finally back to the old chesnut of the 'under engineered' covenant in my indenture "the right to pass & re pass to draw water from the well'. The 'Well' is covered with concrete & therefore I cannot draw water from it. Is there any likelhood I could enforce this covenant to be able to draw water from the well? Because if I could, it would also be likely once the 'Well' was opened I could unblock it? (This question may have been answered earlier by dls & if it was I apologise its very late and I'm just rattling this off, I haven't time at this moment to read back over the previous posts, but I will tomorrow).

As always thanks for all the input its greatly appreciated.

Good night Aitch
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby dls » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:25 am

The underengineering refers to cases where it has been found that a right to use does not include a right to keep it open. A tiny difference in teh wording can change entirely the resultant rights. A more engineered (more explicit enumeration of rights) clause would leave these issue decided.

These debates and the court records are full to overflowing with people who took these things to law anticipating it might be just a small claim, ony to find it was a tiger's tail which once grasped could not be released, leaving bills of many many tens of thousands of pounds behind.
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Re: Blocked land drain on private land causing flooding

Postby gid » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:07 am

This watercourse runs at the side of my property which makes me a Riparian owner at least in respect of that part of the watercourse.

Not necessarily; it depends on the detailed arrangement of the ditch, e.g. which side of the ditch the spoil from the ditch is dumped.

'The Well' (further back) and 'a Culvert' running from the Well under the ground discharging into the watercourse

You will not have Riparian rights over watercourses that are not adjacent to your boundary.

"the right to pass & re pass to draw water from the well'

does not give you the right to unblock it.
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