Buying a house - sewage pipe runs under the land and manhole

(8 Posts)
skotak29 Sat 16-May-15 20:38:05

We are in the process of buying a house. The water and drainage search report says that sewage pipe runs under the land. It doesn't clearly say what is built over it; however our solicitor has asked for buildover agreement or indemnity insurance from the sellers.
Is there anything else we should enquire before we make the purchase?

Also we have just received the homebuyer report which says the manhole is to the rear of the garage. Not sure how we missed that during our viewings. Anyways, we were planning to extend the house and build either a utility or extended kitchen in that part of the garden. Have been reading online and understood that it's quite difficult to move the manhole and building over it is also not a good option.

Not sure what do to. We don't know if there is another manhole at the property and how close/far another (at someone else's property) manhole is. Would that matter in any ways? Should we enquire about that?

Has anyone faced this situation before? Would be great if someone could tell me the cost of moving the manhole.

Any other advice would be hugely appreciated.

Could this be a big problem in the future and should we consider pulling out (of the purchase) as an option?

Thanks in advance.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 16-May-15 20:52:53

Ring the local water company and ask for a (free) site inspection/meeting with one of the sewerage managers as you're considering building over a mains sewer. They'll be able to advise about the feasibility of building over the current manhole. Adding another manhole further along the sewer is a big job. Probably £1000s. But they may decide there's another manhole close enough for it to not be a problem.

My brother also has a manhole in his conservatory. There's kind of a detachable bit of floor and you can access the sewer from there. It's not a main though, and I certainly wouldn't fancy it.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 16-May-15 20:58:40

Have you seen the Thames water info, looks like you'd be looking at a minimum of £1300 for a build over agreement, and if the sewer collapses years down the line they have the right to knock your extension down to get to the sewer.

www.thameswater.co.uk/tw/common/downloads/your-business-developer-services/building-over-a-public-sewer.pdf

sleeplessbunny Sat 16-May-15 20:58:41

When we bought our house we got a sewerage map as part of the searches, I thought that was fairly normal. It shows where the sewers run in relation to the properties, position of manholes and buildings. We have a mains sewer running under our garden, it's not a problem but then we have no intention of building over it.

skotak29 Sat 16-May-15 20:59:25

Thanks VivaLeBeaver. Its a good piece of advice. We still haven't moved to the property. Would Thameswaters still help?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 16-May-15 21:01:52

I think they would. I used to work for a different water company and we would have done.

momtothree Sat 16-May-15 21:04:14

Not sure if this is everywhere but solihull council would issue letters to each resident - about 5 if there was a blocked drain, so we would share the cost of repair. Otherwise think the property owner is responsible. Next door have the responsibility of sorting drain but we paid.

skotak29 Sat 16-May-15 21:06:00

Thanks VivaLeBeaver & sleeplessbunny

I would call Thames water and ask for sewer map of the area + request for inspection as well. We got sort of a map with our search which showed location of sewers but didn't show the manhole. not sure because this one is a private.

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