A recent article in REM brought to light an issue regarding power poles on rural property. The article referred to a case in Ontario where 4 years after the purchase of a rural property, Ontario Hydro One yellow flagged two wooden hydro poles located on the property. The poles connected the main power lines to the house.
The gentleman was given one month to replace the poles or have his power disconnected as the poles were considered unsafe. To complicate matters one of the poles had an old step-down transformer that contained PCB, banned 25 years ago. Records showed the poles had been installed in 1949. The average age of a wooden pole according to the article is between 30 and 35 years.
The story went on to explain that the gentleman, who was elderly, could not afford the estimated $8000.00 to replaced the poles. He sued the Realtor and lawyer for non-disclosure in that he owned the poles and he had not been advised by either one that if the poles needed to be replaced, he would be responsible. The owner lost the case, primarily because he did not included the vendor who was a neighbour and friend.
Being in British Columbia, I was unsure if the same thing held true here as I had not heard of this happening before. So a quick call to BC Hydro confirmed that the property owner is indeed responsible for the poles on the property and for all wire from the first pole to the house. BC Hydro is responsible for the wire from the main grid to the first pole.
The moral of the story:
When involved in the purshase or sale of a rural property, make sure that ownership of the hydro poles is disclosed to the buyer and have the poles checked for their condition.