We’re owed £26,500 by SSE, but can’t get it to pay up

We’re owed £26,500 by SSE, but can’t get it to pay up


It’s compensation we won 10 months ago for a transformer in our garden – why is the electricity company dragging its feet?

Electricity pylons on private land.

When electricity pylons or wires cross private land the owner is entitled to claim compensation.
Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Two years ago, after reading in the Guardian about compensation for electricity power lines crossing private land, I applied in respect of an SSE transformer in my garden. The firm that handled my claim negotiated £26,500, which I accepted.

That was 10 months ago. Since then, solicitors handling the legal “deed of easement” have been unable to obtain the payment, advising me that it is the sheer volume of claims that is delaying SSE.

Since this could go on indefinitely, shouldn’t firms have to finalise claims within a stated period or face a fine?

NG, Stockbridge, Hants

It’s only in the last couple of years, following a series of awards, that householders have been able to claim for electricity wires crossing their property from wooden poles.

Previously, only homes blighted by giant pylons were eligible. Tens of thousands of homeowners are now entitled to payouts if the pole is on their property or the wires pass directly over it.

It’s a lengthy process that can take up to 18 months, but the delays in your case seem unjustified since the time-consuming surveys and legal negotiations were completed before you accepted the offered sum.

SSE avoids answering whether there’s a backlog. Instead, it says it endeavours to settle applications as promptly as possible and advises third-party agents of the likely timescale .

By a remarkable coincidence, it discovers, when the Observer gets in touch, that it has received all the necessary paperwork and that it will pay up within eight weeks.

Your solicitor receives the deed of easement three days later

If you need help email Anna Tims at your.problems@observer.co.uk or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number.

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