View Full Version : Shared Drain Blockage

20-10-2009, 15:39 PM
One of my tenants complained to my agent of a broken soil pipe - on inspection by the emergency plumber, this turned out to be a waste blockage (so no evidence of anything that shouldn't be there) in a shared sewer pipe at the end property in the row.

The AST agreement has the usual clause requiring tenant to unblock drains etc. if blocked as a result of their own actions/inactions. I'm aware of the repairing obligations under s11 of the LTA 1985 but don't have any practical experience of how they're implemented in situations like this. There's no damage to, or defect in, the drains.

The plumber's bill has been deducted from my rent and my agent's view is that it's up to me to try to reclaim my losses from the other property owners in the absence of DNA evidence that it was my tenant's monster stools causing the problem.

This is annoying (and complicated by the fact that I've found out the drain which blocked is a Section 24 sewer and is therefore the local water company's responsibility - they won't pay, however, as they weren't contacted in the first instance).

Would anyone have expected an agent to bill the tenant, or have experience of anything similar?

20-10-2009, 18:46 PM
Would anyone have expected an agent to bill the tenant, or have experience of anything similar?
It's a communal drain - I think you need to contact the other homeowners who share the drain but I suspect you won't get very far.

No, I wouldn't have expected the agent to bill the tenant - the tenant brought it to agent's attention but I think they rightly decided that there was no evidence that T caused the disrepair.

20-10-2009, 21:13 PM
A. Is this a house or a flat?
B. Do you own freehold or leasehold?

20-10-2009, 21:17 PM
Freehold house.

Resigned to paying for it, but it's annoying. Will ensure the agent is clear that it's down to the water company in future if it's off the property.

20-10-2009, 21:20 PM
Perhaps contact your property insurer?

20-10-2009, 21:25 PM
The bill isn't large enough to justify it, it's more the principle of having to pay to clear someone else's "waste" that's annoying.

21-10-2009, 13:16 PM
The agent instructed a plumber without reference to you; they should instead have contacted the water board. Were they negligent, do you think?

The owners of the other properties will not be interested as it was the water board's responsibility.

I fear you will have to grin and bear it.