QLD Stormwater pipe, easement question

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oldandymac

Member
23 November 2020
4
0
1
Hi guys,

We have a large pit in our yard that has been flooding during heavy rain. Tracked down the original plans for the house and there is a 225 pipe that runs along my fence line down to the stormwater pit in the street. The pipe is directing the roofwater from 5 properties behind my house, I am not connected to this pipe at all. The pipe was blocked between the pit in my yard and the road. I have now paid for this to be cleared but the cost of relining is rather large and I dont think I should be paying for a pipe which I dont personally use.

I have contacted council numerous times and they have said it is not their asset so nothing to do with them.

My question is - who is responsible for a stormwater pipe ? The people benefiting from it or the land owner who has the pipe running through his yard? Now that the damaged pipe is clear I am worries that subsequent downpours will start to cause damage the foundations of my garage etc.
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
86
7
314
You need to get a copy of the grant of easement document and check its terms. The starting point for this is a title search (so you can find the dealing number of the grant of easement), and then ordering a copy of that document from the Titles Office. Depending on the age, they can be complicated to read and comprehend - you might need to get a solicitor to assist.
 

oldandymac

Member
23 November 2020
4
0
1
Thanks for the quick response. I have now checked the property title and also been into the local planning and development Office and there are no easements listed at all.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. If there are no easement agreements and the other properties do not come to the party can I simply block the pipe and request that they redirect their roof water elsewhere? That doesn't seem right but at the same time they should be responsible for the maintenance of their asset now that it is damaging my property.

I would really appreciate advice from anyone on here as to likely outcomes.

Thanks
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
86
7
314
If there's nothing on title, then you're going to need to a property lawyer to investigate why it's not registered on title - making it an 'unregistered easement'. For example: it could have simply been accidentally left off at some point in the chain of title, or it could be an easement which is covered by statute. You're going to have five disgruntled owners - and possibly five lawsuits - if you simply block the pipe. That's not to mention the potential property damage if cause flooding, and possible Council ramifications from causing a diverting of existing stormwater channels.
 

oldandymac

Member
23 November 2020
4
0
1
Thanks again for your input. I wasnt really considering the blocking option but it was suggested to me as a way of ensuring no damage was done to my property until the pipe was fixed.
I really want to keep all of the neighbors onboard as its the right thing to do, but as it stands their roof water is potentially causing serious damage every time it rains.

Even with no easement registered, surely any repairs or maintenance costs are the responsibility of the people that benefit from the asset - ie the 5 properties behind me?
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
86
7
314
Not necessarily, hence why you need to get advice. Further, if you have knowledge of a failure or blockage in the pipes but fail to alert the other owners you could incur proportionate liability.