Can a company likephone providerplace a service pole in my backyard without consent?

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Can a company likephone providerplace a service pole in my backyard without consent?

The company dug up my front yard, side yard, and fenced in backyard to place a service pole in the back corner. If they had taken care to move the pole to the side 4 or 5 feet it would have been outside the fence. This would not have caused any of the problems other than the dead grass it left in its path. As I stated, it destroyed grass some of which won’t come back. It disturbed the drainage, the irrigation,  and left the fence loose where the company hit it with a tractor. It created an amazing eyesore.   

Asked on January 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are two different issues here.

First, can the company put a pole in your backyard without your consent? Yes, IF they have an easement, or right over that portion of your property, to do so. Utility  company easements are not uncommon, but neither are they universal; you should check your deed, title report, etc. to see if the company had an easement over a portion of your property and what it provided. If they had an easement, they may do whatever the easement allows them to do, which would likely include placing a pole; if they did not have an easement, however, they could not do this.

2) Even if they had an easement, they had a duty to take reasonable care, and may be responsible for any damage they did due to an absence of care (e.g. the fence damage; damage to drainage and irrigation). If they will not voluntarily make repairs or provide compensation, you could sue them.


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