A Wayleave agreement or compensation is an annually renewed right of use for utilities over or under a private land giving way to a payment to the land owner. For example, electricity box supply companies may arrange a wayleave agreement payment in order to put poles on your land or cabling under the ground. Effectively the company will pay you a ‘rent’ in return for this privilege.
Wayleave Agreement Wayleave Payments
Across the UK large metal power pylons have long divided opinion. Maybe you have overhead electric cables to house and residential areas nearby. 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 agreements or wayleave payments.
What is a Wayleave Agreement or 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” 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 landowners.
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. Possibly even overhead electric cables to house and building structures in the area. 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 agreement claim potential.
Think you might have wayleave agreement payment claim potential?
We would be doing our readers disfavour if we didn’t point out that claiming any payments due to you as a landowner 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 pursue, 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 claim 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 claims have already taken place.
Some company’s such as Western Power detail their power lines on a map on their websites. They also have Western Power wayleave information and details of policies and claims procedures for Western Power wayleave compensation. It’s worth checking your local supplier’s websites for something similar.
Is it worth claiming for Wayleave compensation?
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 agreement surveyor to claim for you. They’re skilled in the field, and ultimately are far more likely to negotiate a larger payment. A larger payment 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. This 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. You can also check out Sherwill Drake Forbes reviews too.
Do you have a wayleave agreement BT are communicating with you about?
If you have Openreach kit on your land or property it’s likely there will be a wayleave agreement BT have discussed with you. All of the tips and info above, together with those in my article on wayleave payments and wayleave easements will likely be able to help you out with advice on how to discuss issues arising. The BT Openreach website also has details on how to access the forms associated with OFCOM statutory code notice (Paragraph 39(1)) which will need to be completed if you’re the land owner and have a wayleave agreement BT are looking into for you.
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.
Other questions about Wayleave?
This article has been popular with lots of my readers. With this in mind I thought I’d put together a few more of the common questions they ask and some brief answers…
Can a Wayleave be backdated?
in the UK it is common for a wayleave to be an annually renewed process. Whilst some utility companies may attempt to make lump sum payments in order to have longer-term access (an easement). In general, it’s annually renewed. If you investigate and find out that a wayleave agreement is already in place on your property, you may be entitled to up to 6 years worth of backdated and your payments in one large lump sum.
What is a BT wayleave agreement?
Companies such as BT and Openreach may offer a legal written agreement between themselves and a landowner. This happens when they utilities will services pass the landowners property or land. Companies like BT and Openreach have to have this permission in order to maintain install leave and repair their equipment. Whilst you can refuse access for this, ultimately if they complain that it’s an essential service there can be compulsory easements applied for.
How do I get a copy of my wayleave agreement?
Wayleave agreements are taxable items that must be disclosed as income from land. Therefore, they are usually disclosed on the land Registry. in order to ascertain whether there is an agreement in place on your land you will need to obtain a conveyancing deed. This can be done by contacting your local land registry services or searching online for land registry in your area.
How long does a wayleave agreement last in the UK?
Unlike an easement, which can be a permanent right of access over your land, a wayleave agreement is usually an annual thing. It’s a personal contract between the provider/utility and the land owner. This means it’s not permanent and can be terminated with giving notice. That being said, the notice can be upto a year!
Should I sign or accept a wayleave agreement or offer?
In short, no. At least, not without seeking proper qualified financial advice from a property solicitor. Doing so without proper advice could leave you open to losing the right for compensation and claims you may be entitled to and may have a huge impact on the value of your land via future diminution.
How do I find out information about who owns the pole or pylon?
In general most poles and pylons will have markings. Whether they’re Low Voltage (LV), High Voltage (HV) or Extreme High Voltage (EHV), they will have signage or markings on them or their fencing. This marking should have a registration or pole number and hopefully a telephone number to be able to call. Most utilities and power operators in the UK will have a department you can contact via the phone. They “should” be able to deal with initial wayleave questions. In your local area you will also have a wayleave officer. Simply typing “wayleave officer in my area” into Google should bring up a list or contact number. Your local County Council should be able to help with this if you cannot find contact details.
Who are Sherwill Drake Forbes? Who are Thomson Broadbent?
Sherwill Drake Forbes and Thomson Broadbent are independent land specialists offering support to those dealing with issues of overhead cabling and wayleave. With backgrounds in property law or chartered surveying they offered a good level of experience when it comes to making a claim. You may have received letters from companies like Sherwill Drake Forbes or Thomson Broadbent in the post. This it’s because due to their experience and Case History they are often the best suited people to get the most for a wayleave claim from a utility provider. That being said, claiming is still something you can do yourself. However, they command more skills to get things done quicker and often give way to a larger lump sum payout even after commission.
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