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Virgin Wayleave (allowing access to my property) - Does anyone have any advice on this please?

29 replies
Found 21st Feb
Virgin media have just installed fibre in the close I live in. There are 3 properties where they need to lay the cable through my front garden to provide them with service.

They have left me a Wayleave form to sign giving my agreement for the work to go ahead, however, I am slightly worried about the small print in the terms & conditions.

The form gives them the right to access my property at any time to install, operate, inspect, maintain etc. Also, if I want to do any work in the vacinity of the install then I have to give them 6 months notice!

I am just wondering how this impacts my property if I choose to sell in the future, and (as I am not a Virgin customer) whether or not they would provide any token payment to install on my land given the strict t&c that they want me to adhere to?

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29 Comments

If you're worried about it, don't sign it. Then they can't have the access.

Tell them you want a £1000 a meter that's what they charge everyone else

Don't service companies nornally pay for wayleave access?

robertr

The form gives them the right to access my property at any time to … The form gives them the right to access my property at any time to install, operate, inspect, maintain etc. Also, if I want to do any work in the vacinity of the install then I have to give them 6 months notice!


No chance.

I wouldn't sign it, but that's just me, I would tell them they'll have to find an alternative route that circumnavigates your property boundaries.

if you are concerned seek legal advice. .

Will you benefit from them installing the fibre? If you don't have virgin I'd refuse to sign the form. Access to your property at any time when they feel like it? Don't think so.

I work for virgin pal as installer and first thing they will not start a install with out you been around to discuss how they get thorough your garden also you will not even no they been and if you self your house it does not matter

need any help give me a shout
Edited by: "bigack" 21st Feb

Don't sign...nightmare in the future if you do.

You're technically not allowed to refuse by law as it comes under the telecommunications act that gives everyone the right to access communications I.e. broadbannd etc. mostly it protects the utility companies like Virgin. you can however be a little difficult and drag it out so they give up. You can ask to see the plans and ask why they can't reroute the line. I'm going to make an educated guess as I used to work for them that the cheapest route is to go via your property so you can ask them to make an alternative route. Usually they won't cause you many problems and they out everything back to way it was originally. If once they do their work you're not happy with how they have left it you can ask them to come back and fix it but in my experience this rarely happened. on my experience working for Virgin rarely did they not get the right to wayleave granted in their favour. Instances where the wayleave was cancelled was typically due to the customer giving up and going to get their services via another company like sky or BT rather than wait for the wayleave. hope this helps.

I would sign nowt.

tashacx

You're technically not allowed to refuse by law as it comes under the … You're technically not allowed to refuse by law as it comes under the telecommunications act that gives everyone the right to access communications I.e. broadbannd etc. mostly it protects the utility companies like Virgin. you can however be a little difficult and drag it out so they give up. You can ask to see the plans and ask why they can't reroute the line. I'm going to make an educated guess as I used to work for them that the cheapest route is to go via your property so you can ask them to make an alternative route. Usually they won't cause you many problems and they out everything back to way it was originally. If once they do their work you're not happy with how they have left it you can ask them to come back and fix it but in my experience this rarely happened. on my experience working for Virgin rarely did they not get the right to wayleave granted in their favour. Instances where the wayleave was cancelled was typically due to the customer giving up and going to get their services via another company like sky or BT rather than wait for the wayleave. hope this helps.


Did wonder if it was law, top answer

tashacx

You're technically not allowed to refuse by law as it comes under the … You're technically not allowed to refuse by law as it comes under the telecommunications act that gives everyone the right to access communications I.e. broadband etc.



Surely that cannot be enforced if the neighbouring properties have access to a copper connection?

Daily mail carried a story last year about a guy in Norfolk refusing BT .. So not sure it's that straightforward .

I wouldnt sign it without putting some very strict conditions in place first.

First and foremost, they are responsible for the cable and any damage that gets done to it.
If you need the cable to be re-routed in the future, it is their responsibility and you bare no costs.

Add some T&C's in (just like their fiber contract deals do).

I am a solicitor and no one likes wayleave agreements over residential properties. Virgin require your property to connect. services that probably could be connected via the public highway to other properties. If the other properties do not adjoin the public highway then there may already be easements. I wouldn't sign without seeing your solicitor. You may also need your mortgage company's consent.

It would certainly put me off buying a property if I discovered that others had this right of access and I had to give Virgin notice before I moved my veg plot so it may affect you in the future if you ever decided to sell. Perhaps Virgin would give free phone and broadband for life?

just ask them for £5000 per year and insist they give you 6 months notice of any change while you give them 2 weeks notice. Wouldnt permit anything across a drive, sewer or any other wiring.

Some household policies have free legal advice lines.

robertr

My understanding is that providing a landline for telephony is a … My understanding is that providing a landline for telephony is a requirement by law, but (at the moment) there is no requirement by law for providing broadband or TV? Also, in this case the whole close is already covered by copper line telephony and FTTC broadband services, so Virgin is just providing an alternate option which covers 21 out of the 24 houses, the other 3 dependant on this wayleave.



I don't think it makes any difference what sort of telecommunications infrastructure they intend to install. If you don't sign the agreement they can apply to the county court to get an order to allow them to go ahead. The court would decide if Virgin's interests in installing the cables outweigh the impact on you of the cables being on your property. If you did oppose the installation, and it did go to court, I expect you would lose unless you prove that they could easily lay the cables elsewhere. If that were so, they would probably change their mind beforehand anyway because they wouldn't want the hassle and expense of going to court. If their only easy route to connect your neighbour's properties is across your garden then you are probably going to end up with the cables in your garden whatever you do. You might be able to wrangle a better deal by being awkward, but then if you pee them off they might play hard-ball with you.

As others have said you are probably best speaking to a solicitor, but that will probably cost you more than you will ever get in compensation.

robwebb26

I am a solicitor and no one likes wayleave agreements over residential … I am a solicitor and no one likes wayleave agreements over residential properties. Virgin require your property to connect. services that probably could be connected via the public highway to other properties. If the other properties do not adjoin the public highway then there may already be easements. I wouldn't sign without seeing your solicitor. You may also need your mortgage company's consent.


As a solicitor myself, this is good advice. As suggested, OP should speak to a local solicitor for more detailed advice. Also, OP should keep in mind that the terms of the Virgin wayleave agreement are not set in stone. Whilst Virgin is unlikely to agree to too many or too extensive changes to the terms, some tweaking is usually possible.

Here's a few I would throw at them (plus a request for a very favourable service deal :p).
- The agreement applies to the cable installation at the time of writing.
- The installation is restricted to the agreed area and is not subject to change.
- The homeowner is not liable for accidental damage to the installation.
- Maintenance or upgrade to the installation is subject to 14 working days written notice.
- The company is liable for any future legal costs or devaluation on the property incurred.
- The agreement with the company applies solely to the person named above. All other parties (including, but not limited to freehold, leasehold) reserve the right to terminate this agreement without notice.
- The agreement is subject to a five year rolling break clause.
- All costs (including loss or damage) to the property and grounds during installation or maintenance are the responsibility of the company or partners.

Edited by: "MBeeching" 21st Feb

Legally you shouldn't refuse but any clauses you're worried about, seek legal advice.

Make sure to ask them to pay your legal costs first.

They'll normally pay at the expense of whoever needs the connection.

I guess this is the document in question?

10) This agreement will remain in force from the date written above for the whole period during which we are an operator (as defined in the code).

It sounds pretty interminable which I don't agree with. They keep it very vague by calling it an apparatus so they could install more things at a later date (install, operate, maintain, adjust, inspect, alter, add to, connect to, replace,
repair or remove).

I'm a commercial surveyor and whenever I come across a wayleave request, you must consider it quite thoroughly. First of all is a full indemnity in your favour to cover the cost for any damage caused by both their installers and the ongoing operation should it fail and cause damage directly associated with it failing. You will unlikely get indirect consequential loss cover but this is negotiable. VM do have the financial clout to go about this properly be it via court applications (if you work against them) or supporting your arrangement with a sufficiently large financial indemnity. I know they have policies upwards of £10m they can happily put forward and what I've personally negotiated with their WL team.

I should add that you will certainly need advice from a competent solicitor because at the very least is a provision to ensure that the wayleave is not for the benefit of the named parties only and so is non transferable.

Pops
Edited by: "popolou" 23rd Feb

Dogeared

It would certainly put me off buying a property if I discovered that … It would certainly put me off buying a property if I discovered that others had this right of access and I had to give Virgin notice before I moved my veg plot so it may affect you in the future if you ever decided to sell. Perhaps Virgin would give free phone and broadband for life?


And TV of course. The biggest package they offer X)

popolou

I'm a commercial surveyor and whenever I come across a wayleave request, … I'm a commercial surveyor and whenever I come across a wayleave request, you must consider it quite thoroughly. First of all is a full indemnity in your favour to cover the cost for any damage caused by both their installers and the ongoing operation should it fail and cause damage directly associated with it failing. You will unlikely get indirect consequential loss cover but this is negotiable. VM do have the financial clout to go about this properly be it via court applications (if you work against them) or supporting your arrangement with a sufficiently large financial indemnity. I know they have policies upwards of £10m they can happily put forward and what I've personally negotiated with their WL team.I should add that you will certainly need advice from a competent solicitor because at the very least is a provision to ensure that the wayleave is not for the benefit of the named parties only and so is non transferable.Pops


Would this affect insurance as technically the property is being used for business purposes?

I've only been required to notify the insurance if the policy requires it. Again, if there is any affect on insurance, it's normally captured in the negotiation. It will also likely be a comparatively nominal amount and not something I would see as unreasonable for VM to consider.

Pops
Edited by: "popolou" 23rd Feb

bigweapon07

And TV of course. The biggest package they offer X)


Of course.

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