Who is responsible for easements relating to utility connections?

10 July 2017

Hi all, we purchased a building plot over 4 months ago. Our solicitor will not let us sign the contract until the seller has sorted the easements for the connections for water and electric. The seller is refusing to do this and I also believe that this is the buyers responsibility? The problem is our solicitor costs are escalating because everything is going round in circles!!


I’ve reached out to one of our experts regarding your query, so we should have a response for you soon. If you’re in need of more general advice on connecting to utilities too, head to https://www.self-build.co.uk/services-on-site

Andrew (Build It’s Digital Assistant Editor)

12 July 2017

I am not quite certain what you mean by ‘sorting the easements for water and electricity connections’; the connection of a utility to the site, like water or electric is subject to the utility provider’s quote and their ability to access your site. If the water and electricity main supplies are in an adjacent highway to your boundary then there shouldn’t be any big issues as far as an easement is conceded from their main, in the highway, to your site. But, if there is other land which has to be crossed to get to your site then your access and other service easements could be a ransom issue. If there is any doubt here then I think your lawyer is quite right to protect your interests. However, if it is simply the administrative process of obtaining a quote from the utility company, and no doubt about the right to cross land, then this is something which you could undertake at your own speed.

Tim Doherty (Build It expert)

14 July 2017
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