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    • Rosy Apple
    • By Rosy Apple 15th May 17, 2:14 PM
    • 134Posts
    • 23Thanks
    Rosy Apple
    Public Sewers in Garden
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 2:14 PM
    Public Sewers in Garden 15th May 17 at 2:14 PM
    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone had any advice as I am going round in circles on this one.

    We are about to exchange (pending a few final issues being ironed out, including this one).

    The house is Victorian and hasn't had any extensions. There are three manhole covers on the patio of the house. The patio has a concrete foundation with slabs laid on top.

    Our Solicitor has advised that because of the concrete foundation over the sewers (not the manhole covers) we need to buy Sewer Indemnity Insurance in case the water company ever need access to the sewers.

    The Vendor's Solicitor has said that this isn't necessary as the manhole covers are accessible. Also, they didn't lay the concrete foundation for the patio they just changed to patio slabs instead of decking. Therefore, their understanding is that they didn't need 'build over' permission.

    I am not entirely sure who is right and reading the Thames Water online documentation isn't making anything much clearer. If we do need to buy sewer indemnity insurance then I would like the vendor to split the cost with us, however, their Solicitor is refusing on the basis that it isn't required in the first place.

    I know if we contact Thames water to ask then we won't be able to take any indemnity insurance out!

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
Page 3
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 19th May 17, 6:48 PM
    • 3,857 Posts
    • 3,086 Thanks
    00ec25
    I informed my Solicitor of this but they have said they will have to tell our mortgage lender that we are not taking out the insurance and this will push our exchange date back whilst they wait to see if the lender is ok with this. They also suggested that we are 'opening a can of worms' and that this may prompt our lender to look into other details of the property too, they may also decide that they will not allow us the mortgage unless we take out the insurance. The person I spoke to said that this is a risk they wouldn't personally take. I am not even sure what else they could look into?
    Originally posted by Rosy Apple
    i would ask the solicitor / conveyancer for a statement in writing:
    a) confirming if they get any commission on the sale of indemnity insurance
    b) on what lender's criteria are they acting when compared to the publicly available information from Thames Water explaining when a build over agreement is required
    c) on what information are they basing their judgement that the "patio" does not meet the above requirements, and what qualifications do they have to make such a judgement

    their stance is incredible and you should inform them you will be forwarding the response, along with your complaint, to the Law Society (the solicitor's regulatory body)
    • Rosy Apple
    • By Rosy Apple 22nd May 17, 9:52 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Rosy Apple
    i would ask the solicitor / conveyancer for a statement in writing:
    a) confirming if they get any commission on the sale of indemnity insurance
    b) on what lender's criteria are they acting when compared to the publicly available information from Thames Water explaining when a build over agreement is required
    c) on what information are they basing their judgement that the "patio" does not meet the above requirements, and what qualifications do they have to make such a judgement

    their stance is incredible and you should inform them you will be forwarding the response, along with your complaint, to the Law Society (the solicitor's regulatory body)
    Originally posted by 00ec25
    Thank you for your response.

    The Solicitors sent a letter over the weekend which basically said that as the owner has built over a sewer with no build over permission we have to buy the insurance in order for the Solicitor to give our lender a 'clear certificate' to release funds.

    I guess the issue is that the build over document from Thames Water doesn't even mention patios. It is only when you ring (and don't mention the specific house) that they say unless the foundations are 1m deep then it isn't needed.

    EDITED- I used your points above to email my Solicitor and they have said they will look into this and come back in the next couple of days. I will keep you all updated.

    Thank you again for your help.
    Last edited by Rosy Apple; 22-05-2017 at 4:48 PM.
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