Purchasing a property or piece of land is an exciting time. However, there are always pitfalls which you must be aware of before you commit to the purchase. This is the reason surveyors exist, the information they provide you with can affect your decision whether to buy or simply allow you to negotiate further on price.
One survey you should always have carried out is referred to as service avoidance. This type of survey studies the ground on which your property stands or where you are looking to build. Specifically it will locate any services which are under the ground. Water and sewerage are the most common issues but you may also find that there are cables and sometimes even electricity crossing your land.
The first benefit of the survey is to identify the services and help you to plan your build without digging into them. If you hit a cable or drain system you can cause serious health problems and end up with a large bill to rectify the issue!
You might think that it is only your property which will be serviced by the utilities running under your land, but this is not always the case.
Your neighbor and the utility company will have what is referred to as an easement over your land. This means they have the right to access your land to deal with any issues; including digging it up if there is a serious problem.
However, there does need to be an easement in place to support this access and you should be aware of this easement before you purchase the property.
An easement needs to be officially registered and should be noted in your deeds. This ensures you are aware of it before you purchase a property or land. The deeds should also provide the detail; this might be that they are simply allowed access or that they can replace them without notifying you.
The wording of this is very important and should be studied carefully before you commit to a purchase; it will be enforced by a court of law if necessary. It is important to note that you do not need to make it easy for your neighbor to access their water line; you simply need to make it possible.
For example, it is reasonable for your neighbor to notify you that they intend to look at their utility and tell you when, it is not reasonable or permissible for them to damage or destroy your property in the process. In addition, they should not take these chainsaw reviews and then take action in consideration of doing any damage to the property. Unless, of course, you have built a structure over their water meter and they need to damage it to access the meter.
Likewise, your neighbor cannot create their own walkway to access their utility, it is still your land, and they simply have a basic right to access their utility.
It is essential to understand the issue before you commit to a property or start building; depending on the location of the utility it can seriously affect your building prospects and moving the utility can be a very expensive option.