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  • FIRST POST
    tek-monkey
    Extension built over public sewer - Implications?
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 09, 12:49 AM
    Extension built over public sewer - Implications? 3rd Oct 09 at 12:49 AM
    As some of you may know, I was trying to buy a place using the ownhome scheme. Funding has now gone, and although I had secured some it looks like I'm about to lose the house. At least I assume I am, nobody seems to know! Heres the basic story:

    1) Offer accepted
    2) Survey highlights drain under property, bank requires CCTV survey
    3) CCTV survey fine, sent to bank
    4) Bank say unsure if they can lend, because of drain highlighted in point 2

    The problem I have is, nobody will tell me what implications this has! All I get, from all sides, is that they've not dealt with a case like this before. My lender doesn't have a clue, all I get is "we're waiting for the valuer to reply" and I've had that all week. The lender said they don't know the implications, if its something they'll even consider or if its just a minor thing. Somebody must know, I can't be the first person to deal with this. The house has sold twice without anyone noticing, the extension was built in '76 and the current owner has had it since '95.

    So whats the deal, should I hold out any hope or walk away now? The houses either side have smaller extensions, but I'm sure one of them crosses the drain too.

    EDIT: Forgot to say, the drain is listed by Severn Trent as owned by themselves, but that it runs across the rear wall of the extension. This is not the case, it defintely runs underneath the extension by a few feet.
Page 1
    • m_13
    • By m_13 3rd Oct 09, 8:29 AM
    • 919 Posts
    • 617 Thanks
    m_13
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 09, 8:29 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 09, 8:29 AM
    Rules in 1976 are likely to have been different but since 2000 to build within 3 metres of a sewer you need the consent of the owner.

    I think the issue is going to be if there are problems with the sewer (which is already at least 33 years old) or want to renew it. Your extension is obviously in the way and if they determine that the pressure from the extension is partially the cause of the failure (the new regulations require permission to build over and a requirement to put in lintels to ensure no weight is put on the sewer pipe from the extension) then they might be coming to you for money!

    Looking positively, if they did a CCTV survey then they must have been able to access the drain which is good news. I've seen a few posts where people have found manholes underneath their kitchen floor after an extension has been built over them!
  • tek-monkey
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 09, 2:25 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 09, 2:25 PM
    The manhole is to the side, and the drains are in perfect order. Apparently way better than expected! However, I still don't know if I can get a mortgage, or even if I want to buy now. I have been offered an indemnity policy, but it only covers my lender. Means any losses I incur are still my own problem, not sure about that!

    EDIT: Also, would this affect my buildings insurance?
    Last edited by tek-monkey; 03-10-2009 at 2:46 PM.
    • besonders1
    • By besonders1 3rd Oct 09, 5:26 PM
    • 566 Posts
    • 501 Thanks
    besonders1
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:26 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:26 PM
    I would hate it if there was a large manhole inside my kitchen or front room, does that mean if there was a problem, you would end up with workmen coming into your kitchen and digging up sewage in the middle of your house?
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 09, 5:33 PM
    • 65,341 Posts
    • 383,521 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:33 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:33 PM
    To clarify, is this the mains drain, through which the poo of others will pass? Or is it just your poo pipe that then drains into the mains?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 3rd Oct 09, 5:40 PM
    • 11,370 Posts
    • 9,754 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:40 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:40 PM
    My house (bought late 1990s) has extension (1970s) built over sewer. Had no problem from lender. The manhole cover has now been updated to current spec. Lenders these days are scared of their own shadow and usually someone, somewhere along the line will make a profit from an unnecessary and useless indemnity policy.
    • Running Horse
    • By Running Horse 3rd Oct 09, 5:49 PM
    • 10,568 Posts
    • 21,245 Thanks
    Running Horse
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:49 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:49 PM
    My brother in law just built an extension over his sewer, which involved putting a manhole cover in the new loo, which could be tiled to sort of blend in.

    My old terraced house had a bathroom extension built over the pipe where my neighbours sewer pipe fed into the manhole in my garden. The first surveyor flagged it up, but the next one didn't mention it.

    I can't imagine the problem is insurmountable.
    I was present at wreath-laying but don't think I was involved.
  • tek-monkey
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:50 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:50 PM
    The manhole is outside, there is none inside the property. I suspect it has been moved from its original location, as it is only a foot or so from the boundary, although this is speculation on my part. It is indeed a poo pipe, it carries the sewerage from 4 other dwellings (from what I can see).

    From what I have been told, it is Severn Trents drain and they have full responsibility to fix it. I would have to allow them onto the property, and they could destroy anything in the way if they needed to, at my expense. This is what worries me! If it was a private sewer it wouldn't really matter, but as Severn Trent own it there could be a problem.

    My house (bought late 1990s) has extension (1970s) built over sewer. Had no problem from lender. The manhole cover has now been updated to current spec. Lenders these days are scared of their own shadow and usually someone, somewhere along the line will make a profit from an unnecessary and useless indemnity policy.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    Do you know if yours is public or private? As for the policy, its up to the vendor. I aint paying a penny, the house has to be in order or the price reduced accordingly.

    I'm just annoyed that nobody (EA/Sol/Lender/Surveyor) will tell me whats going on, they just say they've not dealt with this before so can't comment. What the hell am I paying them for?!?!?!
  • tek-monkey
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:54 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 09, 5:54 PM
    My brother in law just built an extension over his sewer, which involved putting a manhole cover in the new loo, which could be tiled to sort of blend in.

    My old terraced house had a bathroom extension built over the pipe where my neighbours sewer pipe fed into the manhole in my garden. The first surveyor flagged it up, but the next one didn't mention it.

    I can't imagine the problem is insurmountable.
    Originally posted by Running Horse
    This is whats bugging me, I've lived somewhere like this too! But nobody wants to tell me how it relates to my mortgage, and I only have 1 month now until the ownhome funds are lost. I've told the EA and vendor this, but I'm starting to suspect the vendors sol just wants rid of me as they are delaying everything they can.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Oct 09, 6:19 PM
    • 65,341 Posts
    • 383,521 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    ...(EA/Sol/Lender/Surveyor) ...What the hell am I paying them for?!?!?!
    Originally posted by tek-monkey
    Well:
    1. EA - you aren't paying him, the seller is.
    2. Sol - you are paying him, but just to check the legal side of the transaction and money. It's not his job to advise except on legal matters.
    3. Lender - you are paying them to assess you and the house for mortgageability and lend you money secured against the house. But it's not their job to advise.
    4. Surveyor - he's your man. Get him to get the answers. You paid good money to him for a service... he needs a rod up his harris.
  • tek-monkey
    Thanks PasturesNew, you're right. Unfortunatley the surveyor never answers his phone, and was the one my lender insisted I use
  • tek-monkey
    Just found this on the Severn Trent website, seems to imply they'd just agree to it in most cases. So why wont the vendor ask? Or is retrospective application different?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 4th Oct 09, 8:40 PM
    • 11,370 Posts
    • 9,754 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    I don't know what counts as private or what counts as public - it seems to take waste from at least next door - you never hear it unless you're in downstairs toilet which goes straight into it. Building inspector has no problem as they have approved connection to this toilet and also new manhole cover (2008) which is now in kitchen.

    I have read elsewhere that Severn Trent seem to worry more about these matters than some water authorities.
    • John_Pierpoint
    • By John_Pierpoint 8th Jun 11, 2:46 AM
    • 8,233 Posts
    • 7,383 Thanks
    John_Pierpoint
    Just an update in case someone else finds this thread.
    In Autumn 2011 the local sewage authority will be taking over ownership of current private shared sewer branches.
    Google for more information.
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