A couple found out the hard way why land conveyancing is a job for professionals when they ended up marooned in their bungalow, without any right of access to water or electricity, following a dispute with their neighbours.
The couple bought a plot of land, which had been carved out of the garden of an existing property, and built their new home on it. However, water and power had to be piped along a track which was owned by their neighbours. The latter agreed that the couple had the right to access their bungalow along the track by virtue of a conveyance dating back to 1946. However, they denied that those rights extended to laying water pipes or electricity cables either over or under the track.
The couple took the view that their neighbours were making unreasonable financial demands in order to extend them the rights they required. In dismissing their arguments, however, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that their rights did not extend beyond those specifically granted in the 1946 conveyance. Arguments that an easement in respect of water and electricity services had been established by the passage of time were rejected. The FTT expressed the hope that the difficulties between the neighbours might be resolved by other means.