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building over an easement

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by robmillion, 13th Jan, 2010.

  1. robmillion

    robmillion Member

    13th Jun, 2009
    Melbourne, Vic
    Hi All,

    I recently put a deposit on a block of land that has a 4.5m easement at the rear (running across the full width of the block). I spoke to South East Water and was advised that with a permit we can build up to 3.2m off the back fence.

    Does anyone have any advice or experience dealing with building over an easement?
  2. Wendy Bergsma

    Wendy Bergsma New Member

    26th May, 2008
    Yes, i have just finished a subdivision development where there was a 3.5mtr Sewer easement right down the length of the property.

    Really it depends what the easement is for, i.e. sewer, water, power etc, and what the local or state authority's rules and regulations are concerning that particular easement.

    Before purchasing the property, you should research exactly what the easement is for and what the specific building regulations are for that easement.

    In the case of an easement across the back of the property, it might not even come into play, as the council building codes bounday set backs might be wider than the actual easement. That is, building codes for the area in which your block of land is might require at least a 4.5 metre set back from the rear fence ? if this is the case, you cant build on it anyway.

    My advise to you is firstly find out from your local council what the building setbacks are from the rear boundary and you might find that the easement does not even come into play.

    In the case of the Sewer easement, the whole point of the easement is so that the Water Authority can have access to their underground services at any time, should the service need to be repaired etc. So you would never be silly enough to build an actual building over it, (no would you be approved) but a carport with a paved hardstand for example would probably be okay as they can still access underground if need be by removing the pavers. Alternatively a garden shed would probably fit into the same scenario, just as long as you are prepared to move it if required.

    If you want any further information, just ask and I'll see if I can help,

  3. KateMelb

    KateMelb Active Member

    17th Apr, 2010
    Melbourne, Victoria
    If there is an alternative access point to the easement (e.g. via a sidestreet if you're on a corner block) then you can build over it. The water company can advise about access points.
  4. rambada

    rambada Well-Known Member

    5th Sep, 2005
    All of the above and also, some easements can be moved. We found this out on a development after council approval, etc. So it wasn't viable to start planning approval again.
    The cost of relocating the easement (sewer from memory) was minimal in relation to the development and the ability to build where we really wanted to would have given us a markedly larger profit.
    The lesson is to do lots of research, and no doesn't neccesarily mean no. Just ask the a different question.