Across the UK large metal power pylons have long divided opinion. Some people view them as essential, others as unsightly and intrusive. Whatever the point of view you hold, the power needs to travel from source to destination somehow. But if you’re blighted by power lines, pylons and posts, there may be a silver lining in the form of wayleave payments.
What is a Wayleave Compensation Payment?
Essentially the WCP is a payment made to an individual. This payment is for the passage of high voltage power over their land. Effectively the power company is “renting” the space above your drive or garden. This is for power lines, or land space for poles.
Not everyone is entitled to these wayleave payments though, which is where things get tricky. Firstly, compensation can only be paid “once”. This means if you’ve claimed before, or the previous owner claimed, then you’re out of luck. With this in mind if you’re looking at claiming on the huge metal pylons, thing carefully. You’ll have to be very lucky as they’ve likely been claimed on by developers and previous land owners.
Things get interesting when you scale wayleave compensation down for single wooden poles. These are less conspicuous than their larger metal companions and most of the time, if you have them travelling over your land, you’ll rarely bat an eye. These are the poles and lines that have been claimed on less.
Savvy Dad readers’ looking out of their windows will likely notice all manner of wires cutting their way through the landscape. However, it is important not to confuse telecoms lines with power lines. Generally speaking, rural villages and suburbs are those that would most likely have wayleave claim potential.
Think you might have wayleave payment claim potential?
We would be doing our readers a disfavour if we didn’t point out that claiming any payments due to you as a land owner can be done by yourself alone. However, unlike the recent years where people have been claiming back their PPI themselves, wayleave claims can be trickier, more lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful if you’re not eligible for any reason. So it is with a slightly heavy heart that we admit it might be worth considering using the larger chartered surveyor firms who are currently offering to take on your claims for you. These firms, in exchange for a percentage, will persue, investigate and sort the claims resolution for you. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, or wary that you may need to use a solicitor at some point to act on your claim, then these surveyor firms are the next best bet.
Please be aware that you should NEVER agree to any firm taking on your wayleave claim for anything less than a “no win, no fee” type offer. Looking at the biggest surveyor firms assisting claims at the moment they offer to do everything in exchange for 10-20% of the claims worth.
To find out which energy company is responsible for your lines you’ll need to consult the ENA Website where you’ll find information in addition to this article along with details of whether a claims already taken place.
Is it worth claiming?
In short, yes. There’s no hard and fast rule to the value of payments. In theory they take into account how the posts or lines impact on your property value, access and scope for development. We would always say expect little, be surprised by a lot. The payments can range wildly from 1% of your property value to 4%, certainly something worth pursuing.
This is why we mentioned earlier using a wayleave surveyor to claim for you. They’re skilled in the field, and ultimately are far more likely to negotiate a larger payment. A larger payent that would most likely negate the percentage you’d give up to them in their commission. It also means you can sit back and let them pursue the wayleave claim, which can take up to nearly two years. Plus if you’re home is mortgaged, they’ll assist working with your mortgage lender. Rhis is important too as “technically” they still own your home.
We make no recommendation for which wayleave company you might use, as this claim process CAN be done yourself. But for reference, the claim company with the biggest track record (but sadly the highest wayleave commission) is Thomson Broadbent
We’re currently pursuing this ourselves, so we’ll update this article as we need to. Please chip in with comments of wayleave payment successes, issues, or failures. Use the comments section below, particularly if you’ve claimed yourself. We’d love to hear your experiences.
Savvy Dad x