Solicitors report on the benefits of new drainage law


Until very recently, a common challenge for Conveyancing Solicitors in Birmingham was the unearthing of information about a property's drainage connections.

Although this might seem mundane, many homes throughout the city are not connected directly to a public sewer. Instead, the drainage runs via privately-owned pipes, which may also serve several neighbouring properties, before finally connecting to an adopted main sewer.

How Conveyancing Solicitors in Birmingham identify drains

To get the required information for purchasers, Conveyancing Solicitors in Birmingham carry out a search with Severn Trent plc of 2297 Coventry Road, Birmingham B26 3PU.

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Severn Water supply a plan showing the position of nearby adopted sewers, but not the location of any private pipes leading from the property to the main. There has not been any general requirement to record the location of service connections to a property, so the route and extent of any private drains cannot be ascertained without a separate survey.

When it appears that a dwelling does not have a direct sewer connection, Conveyancing Solicitors in Birmingham will need to find out whether a dwelling has appropriate legal rights to use any drains crossing neighbouring property.

Unfortunately such information is not always recorded in registered titles or the property deeds.

From the 1st October 2011 however, the responsibility for shared drains serving Birmingham homes is vested in Severn Trent plc. This will mean that individual owners will generally only be liable for the repair of any drain-pipes within their property boundaries which just serve their own property and are not shared with adjoining properties.

It also means that householders should no longer have to contribute to repair costs which an adjacent owner has incurred in respect of a shared sewer.


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