Sometimes problems arise when owners try to sell their property, which is built in part or entirely through a public channel. Conservatories and extensions are the usual criminals. If a Build Over Agreement was not obtained when the work was done, then the water company has the legal right to enter the land to reach the canal, even if that means demolishing the building above the canal. However, if possible, the water company will avoid the damage and look for other ways to enter the sewers, but the risk remains. If a construction agreement has been reached, the water company has no right to remove or demolish the structure above the sewers. No authorization is required in cases where private sewers were built prior to the transfer of ownership of a sewerage company. Under these conditions, safety is ensured for an owner whose property was built before the transfer of sewers from a private channel to a public channel, in conjunction with the legal undertaker`s obligations to repair the damage suffered. In 2011, most of the sewers and private sewer outlets in England and Wales were transferred to public property. Thousands of kilometres of pipes – repaired and maintained by the owners (often without their knowledge) were under the jurisdiction of water companies. While this was undoubtedly good news for the owners, it created a kind of legal shade zone when these sewers were built by their former owners. Each water company has its own policy regarding the construction of public pipes or near public canals. For Severn Trent Water, if an owner wants to build in the immediate vicinity of an existing public channel, they will have followed one of the two lawsuits.
Until the late 1990s, they reportedly entered into an agreement with Severn Trent Water, which stated both their rights and the rights of the water company. There is another problem as to whether there should have been an agreement. In cases where public sewers were built without the consent required under the 2010 Construction Code, the usual penalties and enforcement measures apply. It will be difficult and time-consuming to determine whether the canal in question was originally a private sewer subject to the transfer of the private sewer regulation in 2011, and therefore it would never have been necessary to enter into a construction agreement, or whether the sewers in question were still public and whether a hold-up should have been carried out. According to the 2010 building code, Scheme 1, Part H4, the agreement of a legal undertaker is required for construction work on a public sewer.