"Can we dig up your driveway?" Can they?
March 10, 2018 4:18 AM   Subscribe

YANML. I have a house. There's construction happening next door. They want to dig up my driveway. UK, snowflakes inside.

So I own* a house. UK, freehold.

*(It's technically owned by my parents, if that makes any difference, but they've repeatedly offered to just gift it to me and in general trust me to make property-related decisions. I talk to them regularly and can involve them if needed, but they live in another country so they can't be physically present for this.)

There's constructions happening on the next-door house, and apparently, there's a drain coming from the back of that house, and going under my driveway in the front, that "should be accessible", and so the people doing the work want my permission to dig it up and - do something? change the layout? the man didn't explain - and then "put it back as it was" (which god knows with construction is never actually the case).

A construction company man is going to come by on Monday morning to talk to me about it, and I'd like to be prepared.

As I see it, I have two options:

1. This being my* property, I have full legal rights to tell them to fuck off, no digging to be had, oh and while they're at it they can fill back the part of my driveway they've already chipped at.
2. Allow them to dig as they need - but if this were the case, I would want a written, dated and signed guarantee that they are fully liable for any resulting damage to my property, and the fixing thereof, resulting from the work. If they're unwilling to provide this, we go back to option #1.

The nice, "let the people work, what's the worst that can happen" part of me wants to let them do the thing. The distrusting, "rocks falls, everyone dies" catastrophising part of me points out that something could go badly wrong and then at best I'd be having to wait for them to fix it, with my house potentially being unlivable-in as a consequence, and at worst I'd end up embroiled in a legal battle.

I've seen too many nightmare contractor scenarios (including my aunt and uncle having to sell their house as a consequence of a nightmare contractor). And I didn't even hire these people. They were hired by whoever owns the house next door, I have no idea of how trustworthy or not they are.

It doesn't help that I'm already not feeling charitable towards them, because they accepted a delivery for me rather than telling the postman "no, leave a card, come back tomorrow, we're just construction workers, we can't take this parcel" as they should've. (That's how all this started - I called them to ask after my parcel, and in return I was asked "oh you're next door? did anyone talk to you about your driveway?")

What do I do?
posted by sailoreagle to Home & Garden (37 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You don't want a grievance with your neighbours, so however tempting #1 is, #2 is the better option. But in addition to what you've suggested - and obviously not agreeing until you 100% do understand what they're doing - you ask for a schedule of works which contains the specific times and dates for starting and finishing the disruption on your property, with an agreed scale of compensation for failing to adhere to that timetable. If you want to push, I'd consider also asking for a second opinion on the work from an independent third party/another contractor.

And then take about 100000 photos of everything as evidence, and hope for the best.
posted by AFII at 4:32 AM on March 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Are they planning to actually dig up your driveway, or just bore underneath it? Assuming they're actually digging it up, there's no way they can put it back "as it was." There will be a patch, similar to what you see after a road has been dug up to lay pipe or run wires underneath. It will be noticeable and it will probably start to fail well before the rest of the driveway, assuming your driveway isn't already falling apart. The fact that they're proposing this to you as a "putting it back as it was" type deal would give me serious pause.

I would want the contractor to be a lot more specific, in writing, about what they're proposing. How large an area will be dug up? Exactly how will they repair the damaged area? What can you expect the final result to look like? What happens if you're not satisfied with the result either now, or five years from now?

This is not a minor thing that they're proposing. I'd want a signed contract covering all of the abovr questions before they moved forward, and frankly I'd want to be compensated because they will definitely be damaging your driveway if they do this.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:34 AM on March 10, 2018 [12 favorites]

What is your driveway made from?
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:38 AM on March 10, 2018

Response by poster: 1. I have zero qualms pissing off those particular neighbours. That house was sold recently, to someone who wants to make multiple flats out of it for renting out. (I know this because I got mail about planning permission, and it took them three tries.) The people who own it aren't going to be the people living in it.
2. The guy specifically said "dig up", not "dig under" or "bore underneath".
3. The driveway is made of... paving stones? Of different varieties? I'm afraid I haven't got much of a clue. Here are some pictures. My property boundary is where the raised edging that they've half knocked over is.

As you can see, they've already fucked with my driveway near the front, something which I was planning on complaining to them about even before this "can we dig up your driveway" thing. (I wasn't home to complain to them as it happened, unfortunately.)

All this is making me lean towards "no, fuck off" even more, I gotta say.
posted by sailoreagle at 5:00 AM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

>That house was sold recently, to someone who wants to make multiple flats out of it for renting out.

TBH that would probably push me from being a very cautious #2 to a straightforward #1. Possibly for socio-political as much as genuine home-owner's-rights issues, but also because there is a hell of a difference between putting yourself out so someone else can fix their home, and setting precedent that you're willing to have your property damaged for someone else's profit.
posted by AFII at 5:11 AM on March 10, 2018 [43 favorites]

Figure out what they actually need to do, and what will happen if they don't. If not doing it will cause problems for you (e.g., the drain will burst and flood your property), you should obviously allow them to do it, albeit with conditions.

Speaking of which, there is a third option. You could agree to allow them, but impose so many conditions that they decide not to.

My question is, what are you supposed to do while your driveway is unusable? Park on the street? Park in a lot somewhere? If the former, make sure they accept liability for all damage to your car. If the latter, make them pay for both the cost of parking in the lot AND the cost of transportation back to your house. Conditions like these, along with conditions about the actual work, are what I'm talking about.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:17 AM on March 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'd put the responsibility for defining the work squarely back on the contractors. As in, "Write up the details of what you're proposing and I'll have my lawyer review it." If their proposal lacks anything (timeline, compensation, warrantees) I'd just say "You didn't address [issue x]" and hand it back.

If they want to dig up your property it should be on them to do all the work to make you comfortable with it, not just the digging part. And that should include what happens if (when) things don't go as planned.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:19 AM on March 10, 2018 [51 favorites]

You should be aware that the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 slightly complicates the legal position underlying option #1. It sounds to me like you might have a good case for refusing consent in this scenario, but they may threaten you with an application for an access order and it may be a good idea to discuss this with a solicitor specialising in party walls and access to neigbbouring land disputes at that point.
posted by Aravis76 at 5:20 AM on March 10, 2018 [16 favorites]

I feel that they should compensate you by putting the driveway back better than it was. It doesn't look great now; if they can re-do it to make it look better, that's a decent compensation in my eyes. Maybe you should pick a material you like and propose they replace it with that.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:26 AM on March 10, 2018 [15 favorites]

(What's wrong with the builder's accepting a parcel for you? Surely that's a nice helpful thing to do?)

The driveway is pretty horrible and knackered looking, so I'd be letting them dig it up, and re-do the whole driveway as part of it (not just patching where they have dug).

I'm sure they need to access the drain, otherwise they wouldn't have asked. I don't see what being difficult gains you really? Wouldn't you want a neighbour to help you in the inverse situation? All one big society etc etc?
posted by chrispy108 at 5:27 AM on March 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Have you read your deeds? Available online for about £3 if you don't have them. Mine include conditions allowing access to drains etc. I'm not sure how enforceable these conditions are but you might want to check with someone who does know.
posted by chr at 5:34 AM on March 10, 2018 [8 favorites]

Saw your pictures. No way is that driveway going to be put back the way it is right now if they dig it up. What they'd almost certainly do is go across it with a concrete cutter, dig a trench underneath to access the drain, do whatever it is they need to do to that drain, fill it back in (hopefully using the right type and quantity of fill and tamping it down properly so that it doesn't slump later, but probably not) and then cover it with a concrete or asphalt patch. It would be ugly and it definitely would not match the mixture of different types of concrete and stone of which your driveway is currently constructed, even if they tried to make it match which I very much doubt they would. It also, as I said above, would probably not last as long as the existing driveway.

If I were inclined to let them do this, I'd want to be compensated. What you might ask for is for them to remove and replace your entire driveway, free of charge, with a new one. Your driveway has seen better days and a nice new concrete slab might be worth all the trouble. That would be a lot better than a shitty old patch. But honestly I'd probably tell them to go pound sand. There's got to be a way of dealing with this that doesn't involve ripping up your driveway. Maybe they can install a new drain on their own property.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:42 AM on March 10, 2018 [18 favorites]

Is Home Owners* Insurance a thing in the UK? Here in the States, in addition to finding a lawyer to represent my interests, I'd want the insurance company in the loop. I imagine a range of possibilities from them, anywhere from the unlikely providing of a lawyer to the likely playing of a bad-cop who wants 500 obnoxious restrictions placed on every detail of the project.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 5:50 AM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

IANABuilder, but I have a driveway. The drive way looks like poured concrete components with brick in between. It does look old and worn but nicer than asphalt by far. Take a lot more pictures, then take more. Pictures of everything anywhere near the project. They have already infringed on your driveway, so not trusting them seems like a plan. When stuff is dug up it will settle afterwards, so putting it back as it was is unlikely to be a success. I would require them to rebuild the driveway with the same type of materials and style. Legal help is required and a consult from an actual builder. I think it would be wise to read your deed, which you should ne able to do at the town office.
posted by theora55 at 6:05 AM on March 10, 2018

If you have any money to put in to it, you could ask for a cash settlement or make some arrangement with the builders, and put in anew driveway that would slightly add to the value of the house and look nice. They would pay their cost for putting it back to rights, you'd add money becuse you'd get the whole driveway. Don't bring that up as an option; theyll sense weakness and take advantage, but keep it in mind.
posted by theora55 at 6:09 AM on March 10, 2018

Response by poster: (What's wrong with the builder's accepting a parcel for you? Surely that's a nice helpful thing to do?)

They are only at the site Monday to Friday and work the same hours I do (they arrive after I've left, and leave before I come back home). If the parcel had been left with an actual neighbour, I would have it by now. If the parcel had been kept by the postman, I'd either have fetched it from the post office myself and would have it by now, or would've arranged redelivery for a day convenient for me. Instead, my parcel is god knows where, with people I don't know and have never actually met, and it's only by luck that I'm actually home on Monday and can get it from them then... if they didn't take it home with them after their work day was over and then forget to bring it back. That is the very opposite of helpful.


Have you read your deeds? Available online for about £3 if you don't have them. Mine include conditions allowing access to drains etc. I'm not sure how enforceable these conditions are but you might want to check with someone who does know.

I checked the Land Registry deed I got when the house was bought ("official copy of register of title") and all it says (beyond listing current owners and past owners) is:
C: Charges Register
This register contains any charges and other matters that affect the land.
1. A Transfer of the land in this title dated [date] made between (1)
[City] Council and (2) [the people I bought the house from] contains restrictive covenants.
NOTE: Original filed.
Does this mean there might be access conditions, and I should check with the city council for the original deed?


Getting them to redo my entire driveway in exchange for allowing them access is a nice thought, but I don't have any extra money to put into it and even if I did, I would be disinclined, since I want to eventually turn it into a nice front garden instead. (And good thing I haven't already, eh?)


It's looking like the very first thing to do is to get them to give me, in writing, all the information on what they need to do and why (and do they need to tear up my driveway or can they do whatever it is they need to do a different way), and I will make my decision once they've given me that and I've consulted with my solicitor on it.

(Which means I gotta find a solicitor. Do I just google "property dispute solicitor [city]"? I've never actually needed to find one. The lawyer used for the conveyancing when the house was bought was found by the estate agent, and they don't appear to do dispute stuff.)
posted by sailoreagle at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The sewer runs along the entire street. They can abandon in place the part of the drain that runs under your driveway and excavate along their property to make a new connection in the street. Unless the local government prohibits that for some reason, tell them to fuck off.

Otherwise, sometime down the road when that drain needs to be reconfigured again, due to some deterioration, they're excavating again.
posted by hwyengr at 6:34 AM on March 10, 2018 [19 favorites]

Best answer: This is business and you are treating this like it's personal. Stop that.

Get your package. Be polite:

"I do not own the house. Please put your proposal in writing and I will pass it on to the owners."

Do not talk to them, ask questions, or act as an agent in any way for your parents. If the contractor never shows up with a written proposal, then the question resolves itself. If they provide a written proposal, take their proposal to your parents and a solicitor.

In general - NO - I don't know why you are considering this without generous written guarantees and financial compensation. This is business, the property next door is a business. Be business-like.

I 300% guarantee you the contractor does not need to go through your property to access the drain, they can do this via the property they are legally contracted to be working on, something about digging up your driveway is cheaper or easier for the nextdoor owner, but this is not your problem! This is business + it is literally their issue to solve. DO NOT LET THEM INVOLVE YOU.

- Does your city have some sort of building department? You might want to contact them if you don't have a solicitor specializing in building disputes (or just to get a second opinion) you need to find out about the drain access, if what they are proposing has future legal ramifications for you...


No. No you can not say yes to this for a myriad of reasons. Future considerations included. You really need better professional advice on what the entails and how to resist it. They own property that goes to the street, let them dig the drain on their property. Also, is this a waste sewer pipe? Or a rain gutter? I'm not even sure what from their property they are proposing to run under yours.
posted by jbenben at 7:26 AM on March 10, 2018 [50 favorites]

Also per that picture, what the fuck, it looks like they already destroyed part of your property way more than just “chipped off”. That driveway is unusable. I would be asking them for compensation whether you grant them further access or not.
posted by corb at 8:09 AM on March 10, 2018 [6 favorites]

I don't know how helpful I am to respond, but in Canada, developers have to ask neighbouring homeowners for their permission to dig in their yard for a pipe, and would require a legal easement be granted for access to the pipe at any time in future that there may be an issue with it.

You have every right to refuse, demand that what has already been done be fixed, and that absolutely NO work be done without a legal property easement be put in place (which would NOT be granted without your permission), and also demand money for the inconvenience and hassle that they have put you through (or would put you through if you allowed them to dig up your property).

I'd tell them to *F* off for what they have already done. (in a polite way that doesn't sound like you're being an asshole, but that you're just firmly within your rights to do so, and there's every reason to not want this to happen).
posted by itsflyable at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2018

If you want the whole thing dug up anyway to turn it into a garden, then ask them to do that?
Dig the whole thing up, do what they need to do, leave you a flat foundation to turn into a garden. Sounds like a winner to me.

Lots of very American lawyer up responses in here. This post from a UK forum seems pretty balanced: https://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19925

Just ask them what they need to do and why, then go from there.

(I can see the parcel thing now, sounds annoying, but I'd bet they were trying to be helpful, rather than maliciously stealing your parcel. I get that doesn't help you get the parcel now.)
posted by chrispy108 at 8:21 AM on March 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, and there are some people who think that all they have to do is offer enough money, and that will change the response. That is one thing that is nice about owning a house without a mortgage and living within your means. There is no need to allow yourself to be tempted by money up front and in your face - if you really don't want a thing to happen.
posted by itsflyable at 8:23 AM on March 10, 2018

The more I think about the ways this could turn into a total clusterfuck, the more I think this is a headache that you really don't need. Forget about how annoying this woud be if everything went smoothly; what about if something went wrong with this little project? Nobody really knows what they're going to find under your driveway until they get some daylight on it. There's a non-trivial chance that this would turn into a shitshow of epic proportions. I wouldn't do this even for money, unless I really needed the money.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 9:03 AM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Another point: in the UK, you are responsible for maintaining sewer and drainage pipes on your property, up to the property boundary. The exception is shared drains, which are the responsibility of your local water company - so, if this is a shared drain running under your property, then the water company needs to get involved. They have people who deal with this - and indeed, the developers should have contacted them before doing any work on the drains anyway. Example page on pre-development from United Utilities.

If it's not a shared drain then... well, I've no idea why there'd be pipes from a neighbouring property inside your property boundary and because of the responsibility I mentioned above, that sounds like a legal disaster waiting to happen.

I'd second, third and fourth finding out exactly what they want to do - you want written details, complete with diagrams showing the proposed pipe routing; you should find out what position this puts you in, especially with regard to legal liability and you should ask for written assurances from the relevant authorities (and I'm not entirely sure who would that be, but your local water company should be able to help) that they're even allowed to do what they're proposing, because frankly it sounds dodgy as all hell to me.
posted by parm at 9:16 AM on March 10, 2018 [6 favorites]

I like jbenben's response a thousand times over. In Toronto, they'd have to display a permit for the renos they're doing (is converting it to flats even allowed?) and that would tell you which municipal office you'd contact. They'd need a different permit for the driveway work, and the city would need to inspect the work. Further, codes for setbacks would have to be met, trees would have to be protected, rainwater run-off dealt with etc. Everything would have to be checked in stages to be sure it meets current building codes. They'd likely need a survey to be sure that they're indeed working on their own property, and need a variance if they're using your right-of-way. While it happens that people to attempt renos with shady contractors like this all the time, there are ways to monitor the work. We have 311 and our local councillors - do you have a contact from the planning permission letters? They're already not good neighbours - why would you acquiesce anything? With that height variance from their property to yours, where is all the run-off going to go? How are the foundations of your house?
posted by peagood at 9:19 AM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also also: if there's any requirement for access to your property for anything to do with a neighbouring property, that should absolutely be in your property deeds, and if it's not (and there is a requirement) you want to raise all hell with your surveyor for missing it.
posted by parm at 9:21 AM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My gut feeling: the minute that kerb gets dug up, your driveway's coming back smaller. I'm also sitting here eyebrows raised (in disapproval, not surprise) that they got planning permission to turn that property into flats if it's anything like the properties opposite.

However: you need to go right now and look at the planning application for how these flats are going to be used.
  • If they need to redo the sewerage, that will have been on the planning application. See what that says.
  • Whatever the plans say, they're going to (attempt to) tarmac over the full amount of that driveway and use it for parking. If you don't have a wall there, then you'll have cars halfway across your path to your front door.
  • You'll be able to get the number of the planning application from there, which you can put in the subject line of your email to the council, which should mean you get a helpful response from the planning officer concerned.
I don't know who your council is, but if you go to their website and type your postcode in, I guarantee you you'll be 2 or 3 clicks away from seeing the detail of this planning application, including the statements from Highways and the site plan as well as the original application (which will include a checkbox for whether the sewerage provision is appropriate).

In addition to what parm says above, this should give you enough detail to find out what they're going to do, and why they want to dig up your drive.

Finally: check what they're doing against what they've got permission to do. I guarantee you that they will ignore pretty much every restriction placed on them until you email planning enforcement and make sure that they're following it. This isn't strictly about the driveway, but I'm sure that's part of the issue. Remember: planning enforcement probably care more about you than they do about the developer, but they need your eyes on the scene to tell them what's happening.
posted by ambrosen at 9:43 AM on March 10, 2018 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I've looked up their planning permission, they're looking to split the house vertically down the middle, add a separate entrance, and build an extension in the back garden. Their driveway plan is to provide 2 parking spaces, which is what the existing driveway fits. There is nothing in there about redoing the sewerage.

Looking up procedures for making a complaint to planning enforcement now.
posted by sailoreagle at 10:26 AM on March 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

To find a solicitor, you need the Law Society website. If you search by postcode and your issue—“houses, property and neighbours” in your case—you should get all the local solicitors who deal in that broad area. My suggestion is that you look for a solicitor whose areas of practice include, specifically, ‘neighbour disputes’.
posted by Aravis76 at 11:20 AM on March 10, 2018

Just with regard to your question about the 'Charges Register' in your above question (note: this is my interpretation based on Canadian law). A charge is an interest in land registered on a title document. Typically if there is a right to access your property, it would be called an easement. A restrictive covenant is typically a restriction on your use of the property, and as its in the transfer between the city and original owner, that restriction would normally be in favour of the city. Nevertheless, if you want to be sure you should have a solicitor pull that document and take a look at what it says.
posted by lookoutbelow at 11:35 AM on March 10, 2018

Best answer: Yeah you can just call the planning dept at your local council and tell them everything that you've said here (apart from the stuff about the parcel). They can help you from there. There's no legit reason for the builders to arrange access to your property in the half-arsed way that they've done here. They're trying to cut corners because it's easier for them than doing it properly. There are proper ways to notify a neighbour that you're having work done that affects their property - e.g. a party wall agreement - that are not complex but they have to follow a certain template & timing in order to be legal. They're trying to skip all that. The enforcement people in your council's planning dept want to hear about it.

See the line of rectangular concrete slabs that runs down the middle of your drive? That's where your drain runs, I'd guess. IANAplumber, but I can't see any good reason for your neighbours' drain to have any involvement with yours. They should both take their own shortest route to the sewer, which most likely runs down the middle of your street, and into which each house feeds its own waste. There are good public-health reasons for everyone to do that independently from each other. If your drain is ever blocked before the point where it joins the sewer, do you want your neighbours' sewage backing up into your house? No, you really don't.

However this all turns out, you'll need a low wall between your driveway and that of the flats-to-be, or your new neighbours will be parking all over your bit. If the builders genuinely need access to your side, and they're prepared to ask for it properly, then you should make it a condition before you grant them any access that they build such a wall when they're done. If this whole thing goes away by itself when you ask them to do it properly, you might want to look at building such a wall yourself, on your side of the boundary. Just high enough to keep your neighbours' cars all parked on their side.

You may or may not need a solicitor. You don't yet know whether you have a dispute, so you might not need anyone to help you to resolve it. Talk to the planning dept first.
posted by rd45 at 11:44 AM on March 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

One additional factor: in my state in the U.S., the local governmental unit that is responsible for maintaining the road in front of my house has a right of way that extends 33 feet (2 rods) from the centerline, but it only uses 12 feet of it for the road. That means that, essentially, the public has a right to the use of the remainder, even though it is on what I think of as "my land."

If something like that applies where you are, that would limit your otherwise absolute right to tell them to fuck off.

I disagree with rd45's last point. You would benefit from legal advice.
posted by megatherium at 1:08 PM on March 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: IAAUKL. IANYL. TINLA.

They would need to have formal permission to lay a drain on your property. This is known as an 'easement' and is granted by deed. The deed of easement that grants them permission to do this should specify if the easement is limited in time or if it runs in perpetuity, and it will specify the rights, duties and obligations of both parties to the easement.

An easement 'runs with the land' - which means that when either of the properties is sold, the new owner takes on the rights, duties and obligations of the previous owner in relation to that easement. It's registered at the land registry against the titles of both properties, so that anyone buying the property at a later date can't say they didn't know about it.

But it's not as simple as that in real life. That's just the paperwork, for which you'd need a solicitor (which they'd have to pay for, as they want to do this).

For example, the deed of easement could specify that the owner of the neighbouring property is liable for the cost of repairs to the drain and for making good any damage to your property. But if the neighbour is a deadbeat, then you'd be left with having to pay for the cost of the work yourself, and then having to sue them.

I'd stick with your option 1.

Make them route the drain on their own land.
posted by essexjan at 2:11 PM on March 10, 2018

Best answer: I'd also add that you can name your price for this too. So if you think your parents might want to agree, then it'd be conditional on the neighbour paying all legal costs for the deed of easement (in which they accept full liability for all repairs for ever more) and also paying whatever price you want to name, but make it a really, really high one.
posted by essexjan at 2:23 PM on March 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Getting them to redo my entire driveway in exchange for allowing them access is a nice thought, but I don't have any extra money to put into it

No no no - if you go for this option, it shouldn't cost you a penny. The cost should be on them, not you.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:33 PM on March 10, 2018

Response by poster: Update: the guy came over and explained further. Apparently there's a bit of the public sewer that they need to connect to that goes in my property, and that should be accessible with a manhole and everything, "shouldn't be a lot of digging and we'll do it properly so it remains accessible in the future also".

So I told him (politely) that I'd spoken to the property owners, and they said there would be no digging unless the request was made in writing, with a detailed plan, an actual contract drawn up by a solicitor etc. If he could make such a request, I'd pass that on to the property owners and then they'd make their decision.

He said he will happily do that, so I gave him my email address so he could email me the stuff. We'll see what comes of that, so far nothing in my email.

(I did get my parcel also. It was very damp and pretty filthy, but at least he apologised for that, and fortunately the damp didn't make it to the contents, so no lasting harm done.)
posted by sailoreagle at 8:03 AM on March 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

There's no public sewer on your property. There may be a shared drain that connects to the public sewer, in which case they should be in touch with the local water company, and there should, as mentioned upthread, also be a bit in your property deeds about it. This stuff isn't ambiguous, and it sounds like they're trying to pull a fast one to avoid having to do things properly.

(it's also possible that the property owner has told the people doing the work that all the paperwork is sorted and they just need to dig up the pipes and do the thing and not worry, and they're Just Following Orders, but still, don't let them touch anything until you're sure everything is legal and isn't going to come back and bite you in the arse in a year's time)
posted by parm at 1:17 PM on March 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

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