Demystifying Build Over Agreements: A Comprehensive Guide

by Bhavi Bhudia
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Manhole cover in grass

When embarking on construction or renovation projects, property owners often seek to expand their living spaces or enhance the value of their homes. However, the process isn't always straightforward, especially when it comes to building over or near existing structures.

This is where a Build Over Agreement steps in – a crucial legal requirement that ensures your project is both compliant and safe. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies of a Build Over Agreement, its significance, and the steps involved.

Understanding Build-Over Agreements:

A Build Over Agreement is a legal arrangement between a property owner and the relevant water or sewerage authority. It's required when a property owner intends to build over or within a specified distance of existing public sewers, drains, or water mains. The agreement is vital to prevent potential structural damage, blockages, or disruptions to public utilities.

The Importance of Build-Over Agreements:

1. Structural Integrity: A Build Over Agreement ensures that any new construction won't compromise the stability of existing sewerage or water infrastructure.

2. Preventing Disruptions: By adhering to the agreement's guidelines, property owners minimize the risk of future blockages or disruptions to public utilities, which could affect not only their property but also the surrounding area.

3. Legal Compliance: Failing to obtain a Build Over Agreement can lead to legal consequences, including penalties or forced removal of the unauthorized construction.

Steps to Obtain a Build-Over Agreement:

1. Assessment: Contact the relevant water or sewerage authority to determine whether your project requires a Build Over Agreement. A pre-application assessment will be conducted to evaluate the potential impact of the construction.

2. Application Submission: Prepare and submit a formal application, including detailed plans and specifications of the proposed construction. This should outline how the project will avoid compromising existing utilities.

3. Review Process: The water authority will review your application and assess the potential risks. They may request modifications or additional information to ensure compliance.

4. Agreement Issuance: Upon approval, the water authority will issue a Build Over Agreement, outlining the conditions, restrictions, and guidelines you must follow during construction.

5. Construction and Inspection: Adhere to the terms of the agreement during construction. The water authority may conduct site inspections to ensure compliance.

6. Completion: Once construction is complete, inform the water authority. They will conduct a final inspection to ensure the project aligns with the agreed-upon terms.

A Build Over Agreement is a vital aspect of any construction project that involves building over or near existing public sewers, drains, or water mains. By obtaining this agreement, property owners demonstrate a commitment to maintaining the integrity of essential utilities and ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. Adhering to the steps outlined in this guide will help property owners navigate the process smoothly, ensuring a successful and compliant construction endeavor. Remember, when it comes to Build Over Agreements, proactive planning and cooperation with the relevant authorities are key to a successful outcome.