Areas of Law / Property

We have applied to buy a field at the back of our house from the council, however a condition of the sale is that we would be responsible for a culverted stream that runs the length of the land. The pipe already leaks, and if we had to replace it, it could cost us thousands. What will be the extent of our responsibility if we buy the land?

Ideally you should leave responsibility for maintaining the culvert with the council. This could be achieved by a simple covenant, and it could be argued that if the stream is a public resource, the council has a duty to look after it. You should engage a solicitor to attempt to negotiate this for you but if this isn’’t possible I would be reluctant to take on responsibility for a leaky pipe!

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