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  • FIRST POST
    • vet8
    • By vet8 4th Jul 18, 3:47 PM
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    vet8
    How can I make a neighbour dispute official?
    • #1
    • 4th Jul 18, 3:47 PM
    How can I make a neighbour dispute official? 4th Jul 18 at 3:47 PM
    I have posted on here elsewhere how our neighbour is stopping us getting a phone line. Briefly, we live in a barn conversion on an unadopted road, we applied for a BT phone line and BT said they would need to run the cable underground from the nearest pole to reach us. This means running along the road in front of our neighbour's house. BT say they will only dig up the road if they have written permission from the road owner, that is lost in the mist of time, so they have decided that the neighbour has to give permission for them to dig in his grass verge. I personally do not think the verge is his anyway as usually your property ends at your fence.

    Anyway they asked him and the b*****d said no, he gave no reason, but refused several times. It would not impact on him at all, it would not cross his access to the house and he would not even see the work as he has a tall thick hedge in the way.

    Open Reach have now, after 4 months of faffing about with this, asked him again and he has said he does not want BT digging up the verge as he has just put the house on the market and he does not want men working when people come to view. Fair enough, but he has not said why he refused 4 months ago when first asked.
    He now says he will sign the wayleave when he has a buyer. I don't believe him. He has given no reason up to now and even if he does find a buyer it could take months or years to sell especially as it is so vastly overpriced.

    I have decided that the best course of action is to be awkward and hope that he will realise he needs to sign the wayleave to stop me causing trouble and hindering his selling.

    As far as I am concerned this whole episode is a neighbour dispute which should be recorded on the form you have to give to the buyer. I need to make this dispute official to show him that I plan to cause trouble. What do I have to do to make this official and hopefully force him to sign the form now and not in 2 years time?
Page 3
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 4th Jul 18, 9:00 PM
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    Smodlet
    Well - BT used to be "ours" (ie public sector)/ not sure if it still is "ours" (sorta lose track of just how much of our property has been sold off).
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    BT was "ours" for four years, until Thatcher privatised it in 1984. Don't you remember the "scandal" of MPs being allowed to buy more than their fair share of shares? Classic case of making the rich richer and keeping the poor down.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Group
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 4th Jul 18, 10:55 PM
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    Davesnave
    Openreach stick poles into verges all over the place and affix their usual notice to them, which gives contact details for any landowner who objects to the new pole. They certainly don't go around asking permission or checking with the Land Registry over each one, although most are just replacements.

    The Pole Objections Unit was in York, and it probably still is. I know, because I objected to a pole illegally placed on my land. I gave them the statutory 28 days notice to respond and added that I was happy to move it myself if they didn't.

    They responded. They also agreed there was no wayleave in place, so they crossed my palm with silver and the pole was re-sited. Sounds easy, but took months.

    While discussing siting with their surveyor, he left me in no doubt that Openreach can, if necessary, use their statutory powers to place a pole where they need it. I'm a perfectly reasonable person, so it didn't come to that.

    Now your connection isn't a pole, it's just an armoured wire, but I have one of those too, literally sitting on the bed of my stream and running to the pole. It all forms part of the same wayleave. I imagine therefore that Openreach have the same powers to lay wires as they have for erecting poles, but for some reason they aren't pushing hard enough on your behalf. Maybe a letter to your local MP might do the trick.

    As regards trying to bribe the neighbour first, Openreach should stump up a 150 one-off payment and you could, perhaps, add to that. Everyone has their price....
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Jul 18, 9:15 AM
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    Smodlet
    I wish I had remembered that yesterday, Davesnave. Vet8 could perhaps have PM-ed you. Never mind, you are here now.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Jul 18, 9:54 AM
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    Davesnave
    I wish I had remembered that yesterday, Davesnave. Vet8 could perhaps have PM-ed you. Never mind, you are here now.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    I've said all I know. Getting in contact with anyone remotely sentient at Openreach was the main issue at that time, which is why I went heavy after being ignored for ages.

    Dealing with the surveyor was fine. I didn't want to spoil a neighbour's view and he didn't want commit to spending more than absolutely necessary, but we found a compromise which worked, without him having to use the powers he referred-to.

    He started with the preamble about powers probably because my letter made me look like one of those stroppy, no-compromise farmers!
    Last edited by Davesnave; 05-07-2018 at 11:17 AM. Reason: changed mind and didn't!
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 5th Jul 18, 10:20 AM
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    westernpromise
    Well, if your neighbour's worried about the works disrupting his sale, I'd be tempted to disrupt it anyway. Maybe erecting a large sign on your property facing his saying "please buy this f*ckpig's house, so I don't have to have this selfish sc*mbag as a neighbour any more", or "I've only just finished a 10-stretch for GBH on selfish melts".

    If you were really creative you could put some outdoor speakers in that would play rap randomly.

    If the ownership is unclear, what stops you building a fence around the verge that encloses the pole?
    Buying a house, if you believe the market has a way to fall, or if you are paying sill asking prices ( like some sheeple ) or if you are buying in London, is now a massive financial gamble!!!!! - June 8, 2012 by TheCountOfNowhere
    • TrickyDicky101
    • By TrickyDicky101 5th Jul 18, 11:11 AM
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    TrickyDicky101
    Have you actually spoken to your neighbour rather than complaining to everyone else left, right & centre? ie talked to him about why he has said no/continues to say no and explained your own position?
    • pimento
    • By pimento 5th Jul 18, 11:37 AM
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    pimento
    Have you actually spoken to your neighbour rather than complaining to everyone else left, right & centre? ie talked to him about why he has said no/continues to say no and explained your own position?
    Originally posted by TrickyDicky101
    I would do this. Explain to him why you really need a land line. Everybody should have the ability to call 999 if there's a fire or a medical emergency. Then if he's still being stubborn, you can go all medieval on him.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Jul 18, 11:54 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I would do this. Explain to him why you really need a land line. Everybody should have the ability to call 999 if there's a fire or a medical emergency. Then if he's still being stubborn, you can go all medieval on him.
    Originally posted by pimento
    Adding to that thought being that you've said there is "no mobile signal at all where we live" - and I'm wondering if some mobile phone networks would be "stronger" and would pick up a signal - even if the one you personally use doesnt do so. He might have a "stronger" mobile phone operator than you do - so his works, even though yours doesnt iyswim - and he's therefore just assuming yours works too. Though I still think he is being unreasonable not to accept you having a landline and, of course, there's the point as to how you are getting your Internet access without a landline?? - followed by any buyer of your house will take it for granted they will have a landline/Internet access that way. I know I did when I bought current house and have been fighting and fighting since I came here to get "the norm - which I'm used to".

    I know I'm in a town now where that seems to be the case (ie differences between mobile phone operators) - ie some people can/some can't - according to which operator we have.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 05-07-2018 at 11:57 AM.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 5th Jul 18, 12:18 PM
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    pinklady21
    Have you actually spoken to your neighbour rather than complaining to everyone else left, right & centre? ie talked to him about why he has said no/continues to say no and explained your own position?
    Originally posted by TrickyDicky101
    I asked the same question twice already.....posts #27 and 33!
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 5th Jul 18, 12:47 PM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    It's entirely possible OpenReach have sent the neighbour a garbled, rude, inaccurate computer generated letter about access that has got his back up. Why not put a note through the door calmly explaining the situtation with the key points being:

    -you are worried about the inability to call emergency services with no mobile or landline (perhaps mention a health condition)
    -the work required is quick and minimal (describe it)
    -you will reschedule it with reasonable notice of a viewing
    -happy to meet and discuss
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 5th Jul 18, 1:34 PM
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    phoebe1989seb
    You have my sympathies, OP.

    Nearly five months ago we bought a rural property with no landline/broadband. Our mobiles were with EE which we were told was the best for coverage/signal in this location - it isn't, being absolutely rubbish unless you are on the furthest point of our land. Previously we ran an online business and might do again, plus our DS and his partner are expecting their first baby, so a phone line (and internet) are important.

    We contacted BT/Openreach (difficult in itself when you have to go some distance to make a call) regarding installation of a landline/broadband and on visiting the property they said it would take a month to set up as another property locally had "taken the slot" previously!!!8203; used by ours. There are very few houses nearby - only two apart from us in our lane and we're surrounded by fields.

    Two months later they were still fobbing us off with all sorts of carp about issues with digging up nearby roads. Then, after DH spoke to someone higher up the food chain, an Openreach guy visited our property and said nothing had actually been done yet! After visiting our nearest neighbour (who is also a bit of an idiot and who had previously been evasive when we asked him about phone lines) with DH, he said a cable needed to be laid across his land and onto another property (both are grade 2 listed, ours is not) where the box is located. He said Listed Building Consent would be required to do this, but if we were happy to lay the cable ourselves they would supply it and return to connect it when we were done. The neighbour reluctantly agreed.

    BT/Openreach supplied us with a length of cable last month, but we've decided not to bother, having discovered that a new mobile on a different network gives a signal in parts of the house and all our land. We'll probably be getting a dongle too......

    Not that this helps you, OP, but just wanted to share our experience. Basically I think BT/Openreach are pretty useless when it comes to rural property
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free for ten years!

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    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Jul 18, 2:00 PM
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    Smodlet
    A point which has yet to be made, I think is that digging up verges, let alone roads and laying cable over several hundred yards is time consuming and expensive for Openreach or any other provider.

    Think how much more money they can make in half the time "installing" a dozen suburban or urban phone lines where they probably have only to reconnect an existing twisted pair to an existing pole/DP. That is why rural and/or more involved installations go to the back of the queue; simple economics and availability of engineers.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Jul 18, 2:14 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    One thing I'm wondering about (bearing in mind Phoebe's experience) is that I had one heck of a time with OpenReach in the first place trying to get my phoneline changed to being more "normal" level of service from them.

    In the course of this - I found out that OpenReach are supposed to have a certain proportion of "available/spare" lines available so to say for new customers needing a phoneline. I think that proportion was around 20%???? I was told by an engineer that there were no spare lines waiting for new customers in this area - despite it being a requirement. I landed up with a lot of "pillar to post" stuff going on at that moment in order to make it plain to them that "It's not my fault you lot havent got the spare lines you need. Get them! and if meanwhile that means you keep shoving customers around as one customer complains, then another one that was okay complains and so on and so on - then remember I'm on the Will Shout Loudest/Am Used to Normal Service List and don't try and have me on this merry-go-round of yours to suit another customer".

    The point being the local guys on the ground did give me a very convincing impression of "wanting to be seen to Do Something - whilst not actually really putting any effort much into it - as they'd only get someone else kicking up instead".

    That may be what is happening to OP - if they're in a more rural area.....and hence they don't seem to "know their job" properly.

    I suspect a bit of Davesnave's previous problems (and him having to find someone "higher up the food chain") may also be down to him being in a more rural area.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 05-07-2018 at 2:17 PM.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 5th Jul 18, 2:17 PM
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    parkrunner
    . I have no idea what the neighbour's objection is to this. The odd thing he has always seemed friendly enough over the years, but he originally replied to BT saying that " he was unable to sign the form" now he will, but not at the moment.
    Originally posted by vet8

    As others have already said..........ask him, why on earth haven't you?
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 5th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
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    Smodlet
    I found out that OpenReach are supposed to have a certain proportion of "available/spare" lines available so to say for new customers needing a phoneline. I think that proportion was around 20%???? I was told by an engineer that there were no spare lines waiting for new customers in this area - despite it being a requirement
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    I cannot believe I seem to be "defending" Openreach; this is not my intention at all but
    on what level does it make sense to keep 20% of your infrastructure available and therefore providing no revenue, especially in very rural areas where the uptake of new lines is probably going to be virtually zero?

    In an expanding town where new lines are requested every day, of course it makes sense to make them available. Installing a new DP with x new pairs, when you know you will have sold them all to new subscribers within six months is always going to take priority over installing one because one person, who may well be used to better, demands a phone line in Darkest Wales (or wherever)

    Add to that the fact that copper degrades over time: What looks like several free pairs on a computer screen may turn out to be none in real life if the copper has deteriorated or otherwise fallen to bits. Again, in a less rural setting this would probably be picked up far more quickly than in the Last Chance DP, Back of Beyondsville.

    Those privileged to live in such beautiful settings need to realise there are downsides to everything. Lack of infrastructure and distance from facilities are perhaps two of the most obvious.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Jul 18, 3:20 PM
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    Davesnave
    I suspect a bit of Davesnave's previous problems (and him having to find someone "higher up the food chain") may also be down to him being in a more rural area.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I suspect it was the fact that, according to their records, I didn't have a pole, so I must be a nutter.


    There again, when they later sent me a plan of where the new pole would be, their highly trained surveyor had somehow located it on someone else's land, about 30m from where we'd agreed.....
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • vet8
    • By vet8 5th Jul 18, 4:34 PM
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    vet8
    As others have already said..........ask him, why on earth haven't you?
    Originally posted by parkrunner
    The entire situation has got very weird, it has been a huge lash-up.

    We originally applied for a line in February, BT sent an engineer to fit the phone even though we had told them we were a long way from the nearest pole. He left, then an Open Reach guy came and spoke to me about getting signed permission to dig up the road, he said he had several options and he would deal with it and we should leave it to him.

    More than 2 months past and we heard nothing, then I got several odd text and voice mails from BT saying we had to speak to our neighbour "as we knew". Well we did not know because I did not know which neighbour they were talking about. The Open Reach guy said he would speak to the self appointed road menders and ask them, he mentioned the neighbour the other side and this guy's verge, so I genuinely had no idea who we were supposed to speak to. I spent over a month phoning BT to be told every time, "You must ask for your neighbour's consent".
    "Which neighbour?"
    "We don't know. Call back tomorrow and we will tell you."

    I would call the next day and go through this sort of ground hog day scenario repeatedly. Eventually after speaking to all sorts of pleasant, but very unhelpful call centre staff I was given a case manager who finally told me last week which neighbour it was. In the meantime they had sent another phone engineer on a time wasting trip to connect the phone to the non-existent line.
    Finally, a few days ago the Open Reach guy came around and I got some sense. I had asked repeatedly to be able to talk to him as he seemed the only one who knew what was going on, but I was told Open Reach are not customer facing and you cannot call them.

    Anyway now that I know what the problem is I am trying to get as much info. as possible before I move on. The Open Reach guy spoke to the neighbour when he came round and explained the entire thing to him. In the past few months I have exchanged the time of day with the neighbour several times and he has always been pleasant, but neither of us has mentioned the phone, I did not even know at that time that he was the cause of the problem.

    I suspect it is not actually him, but his wife, when I passed her the other day I smiled and went to speak and she cut me dead totally.

    I will speak to him but I am trying to understand all the options before I speak, but basically if he has said no there is not a lot I can do, I am not going to beg him. As I have said on here several times the laying of the cable in the verge will cause him no bother AT ALL so I cannot understand why any reasonable person would refuse, if the roles had been reversed I would have said yes immediately.
    • vet8
    • By vet8 5th Jul 18, 4:41 PM
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    vet8
    Adding to that thought being that you've said there is "no mobile signal at all where we live" - and I'm wondering if some mobile phone networks would be "stronger" and would pick up a signal - even if the one you personally use doesnt do so. He might have a "stronger" mobile phone operator than you do - so his works, even though yours doesnt iyswim - and he's therefore just assuming yours works too. Though I still think he is being unreasonable not to accept you having a landline and, of course, there's the point as to how you are getting your Internet access without a landline?? - followed by any buyer of your house will take it for granted they will have a landline/Internet access that way. I know I did when I bought current house and have been fighting and fighting since I came here to get "the norm - which I'm used to".

    I know I'm in a town now where that seems to be the case (ie differences between mobile phone operators) - ie some people can/some can't - according to which operator we have.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    We live in a village which is notorious for having no phone signal. My OH and I are on two different networks, mine is worse than the other, but both are pretty useless, you might get a signal 10% of the time but if you make a call you usually lose the signal half way through. Everyone around here moans about the lack of signal.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 5th Jul 18, 5:35 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    As OpenReach/BT have clearly proved they couldnt organise the proverbial "p*ss up in a brewery" - then who knows what they've said to this couple and they may well have given the couple the totally wrong end of the stick and told them you've said all sorts you havent said at all.

    Which does rather bring us back round to it sounds like an idea to at least try talking to the neighbours (hopefully him - rather than her) and, either way, say what a mess-up OpenReach/BT have been creating and "Who knows just how wrong they might have got things - regarding anything they've said to you. So I wondered if we could straighten this out between ourselves - as they've probably/possibly given you a totally wrong impression as to what I've said."

    At least try that as Tactic 1. Then, if it doesnt work, try and find someone with some sense higher up in the organisation and maybe Davesnave has some hints about just how to find that person.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Jul 18, 6:23 PM
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    Davesnave
    maybe Davesnave has some hints about just how to find that person.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I managed to get the mobile number of the surveyor guy, who promised he'd try to get his boss to 'progress the matter quickly.'


    That was in mid May. By badgering the surveyor, the work was done on September 24th!
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
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