Nov 25, 2007 3:28 pm
My dh and I are first home buyers and we are currently searching for something to buy. We've found an old house that we intend to renovate but it has a stormwater easement down one side of the triangular block (all the way to the bottom of the garden). Can you tell me:
1. Whose responsibility is it to maintain the easement?
2. There's a concrete block half-covering a hole in the garden where the stormwater goes down. It's dangerous for kids. Whose responsibility would it be to make it safe (i.e. put a grate over it or something)?
3. Are we silly for thinking of buying this property? What are the disadvantages for having a stormwater easement on the property?
Sorry if the questions are a bit out there. I'm not sure what to ask! Is there anything else I should know about easements?
TIA! I'm glad I found this forum. I may become a regular contributor/question asker if we buy this property!
Re: Hi and question about stormwater easements2
Nov 25, 2007 4:05 pm
I assume it's a stormwater easement. This means that there is a property up hill from you that needs to discharge its stormwater into the street, but the uphill property can't drain it to the gutter directly.
Maintaining the easement is the responsibility of your uphill neighbour.
I would have though that any access hole should be in the neighbour’s property. Anyway, again it's the uphill neighbour that will need to fix this.
The disadvantage of a stormwater easement is that there is a 1 metre corridor that you cannot build upon. Something small is OK, but certainly not a house over the 1 metre wide corridor.
Where about are you located?
Demolition August 2009, Construction Started September 2009, Completed December 2010
Re: Hi and question about stormwater easements3
Nov 26, 2007 7:00 pm
Go to the council and ask about it. don't believe that the neighbour will look after the storm water easement on your property. check with council what is the arrangement.
The properties next door have a storm water and sewer in the corner and they are obligated to keep the access to that area.
Look, don't feel like disadvantaged but gather as much info as you can. Also go there during rain and have a look where exactly the water flows. If into the easement that will be ok, but you still need to have a pretty good drainage.
We bought the property with shared easement access to the house. I have it in covenance that the cost for the maintenance of it is shared by 5 properties.
Sharing with other people however is a real pain because they don't understand you CANNOT PARK you car there!!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Another thing is that all water from the easement comes to our property so we had to work on extra drainage that will take that water. Of course other builder raised the level so all the water run of is also on our property. And council washes their hands of and tells us it is civil matter.
But I still love my house (have a drainage reserve behind) and don't regret building here.
Re: Hi and question about stormwater easements4
Nov 26, 2007 8:15 pm
Thanks for your replies Kate and Casa!
I spoke to the council and he said that it's the stormwater from the road and it drains down the side of the property to the bottom corner then turns a corner and drains off through another property to another road. Apparently it varies in width but at the top of the block it's about 9 foot from the boundary. It sounds like we've got plenty of room to build as you can build right up to the edge of it.
He reckons it's council's responsibility to maintain it including making the hole safe (he said just email the council and mention the words 'hole' and 'children' and they'll be out in a jiffy LOL), and chopping down any trees they deem to be worriesome in terms of roots in the pipes. Apparently I can build a garden on top of it but if they have to dig for any reason they don't have to replace the garden.
Yeah, I really think it would be a great idea to go there when it rains! I'm not sure I can wait that long though. I'm planning on getting the property for a good price so I'm eager to get in before anyone else with more money comes along. *praying for rain in the next two days* LOL There's also a major sewer junction at the bottom of the garden. I hope that doesn't pose any problems. Hmmm, that rain would be a good idea.
We just had our finance approved today so we are celebrating but also nervous because it's our first venture into ownership of property and we're afraid we're biting off more than we can chew.
Do councils differ in their approaches to stormwater or is it a general thing that councils look after it?
Thanks again. Hopefully see you around.
Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Generally speaking Council looks after stormwater to the collector but... in old houses Council is responsible for them too.
In new houses, the builder connects the stormwater from collector to the house.
Going around the house in different part of the day is really good. The normal quiet area can be very different during the night )
good luck with the bid.
Re: Hi and question about stormwater easements6
Nov 29, 2007 9:14 am
I would suggest try to avoid houses with big easements, as those areas can't be "properly" developed. Thanks to Mark/Cookiemonster, I have this post on my blog talking about what you can build on top of a easement: http://building-our-first-house.blogspot.com/2007/07/propertyinfo009-information-about.html
Normally the house/land would be cheaper as well due to this condition. And X years later whe you sell the house/land, your price will also lower compared to neighbouring properties.
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