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Shared Drains?????

15 replies

bonkerz · 27/05/2008 19:01

I dont know if i have done the right thing or not but wanted to ask on here as i know MN will always have the answer!!

We live in a terraced house. there are 6 houses on our row and we have the only access to the drains in our front garden. 5 of the houses filter into the drain. 2 of these houses are private (ours and another) and 3 are owned by the council.

Today at 4pm i get a guy on my doorstep saying he has to unblock our drain as a house 4 doors up has a blocked toilet. He then says WE will have to pay the bill.

The drain is indeed full of C* although we have no problem with our toilets at all.

I rang the council to check what we would have to pay expecting them to say we were responsible for 1/5th of the bill seeing as we are one of 5 houses to use this drain. The council lady said we would have to pay 3/5ths of bill and council would pay 2/5ths. When i questioned her about this breakdown she could not answer my questions so i told he i would not allow the work to be done without info of the bill and a proper breakdown of costs etc.

We have no problem paying 1/5th of the bill and would expect 3/5ths to be paid via council and the other owner to pay the other 5th. We will not be paying 3/5ths thats for sure.

I have now been threatened with environmental health and an enforcement bill of £300 to let this company do the work.

My Dh will go out tomorrow and hopefully clear our drain BUT i dont know if i have doen the right thing and if i am entitled to ask for the breakdown costs etc.

OP posts:
CantSleepWontSleep · 27/05/2008 19:10

There should be info in the deeds of your house about this making it clear what proportion you have to pay, so I'd check there.

We have a similar type of thing where we live with our entire water supply.

ANTagony · 27/05/2008 19:27

Is the blockage upstream or downstream of you?

I would assume if its not effecting your toilets its upstream and the blockage must have been caused by one of the upstream houses hence just because the rodding point is in your garden you shouldn't be liable for paying any share of the costs.

The deads will probably say you have to give access to your garden for drain maintenance but are unlikely to state you have to pay for other people blocking their own drains. What if they fill the drain with fat and nappies surely that wouldn't mean you have to pay!

bonkerz · 27/05/2008 19:32

checked the deeds and it mentions nothing about cost. The blockage is definately upstream as it is not affecting our hose althought the drain is quite full outside. last time this happened DH had a prod and managed to break down the matter and it cleared no probs.

I am so cross about this as it seems the council have decided we should pay and yet we knew nothing about it till the bloke turned up. i still maintain DH can clear it but will have to wait till his day off.

OP posts:
GrapefruitMoon · 27/05/2008 19:35

bonkerz, assume your house is ex-council?

Do you know roughly when it was built and do you live in England/Wales or Scotland?

SaintGeorgeasaurus · 27/05/2008 19:48

Firstly it sounds like the blockage is in the sewer, not the drain. It is important to define which as it makes a difference to who pays.

The drain is for one property only.

The sewer is the shared drainage of multiple properties and will mean shared responsibility.

Then you need to know if it is a private or public sewer. In your case it sounds like it might be private.

If public, then the water authority (I think Severn Trent for you) are responsible.

If private then the cost is shared by all those who use it, ie everyone upstream.

The 3/5, 2/5 thing is all crap ('scuse the pun)

If there are 6 properties then the costs should be shared 6 ways, just so happens that the council own 3 of them.

bonkerz · 27/05/2008 23:39

cheers guys i knew MN would be able to help. house built in 60s and is ex council.
As it turns out me and DH had a good poke (was awful and made me sick) BUT we unblocked the drain and it is now running free again!! I will NOT ring council tomorrow to tell them job done and will let the bloke come back tomorrow.

OP posts:
ButterflyMcQueen · 27/05/2008 23:44

i had similar bu far worse problem -yorkshire water covered the full cost as drains/sewers were shared


PInkyminkyohnooo · 27/05/2008 23:47

We live in a terraced house- old though, built 1870's,and United Utilities takes responsibility for our shared drain. The poor chaps on the end terrace had to pay for their bit to be sorted once, because they have a separate little bit that was blocked, but ours is the responsibility of the Water board. Maybe contact them instead of council?

jura · 27/05/2008 23:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GrapefruitMoon · 28/05/2008 10:42

Sorry, didn't get back to you yesterday but StGeorge said what I would have!

Wonder if we did the similar jobs at some stage in the past

SaintGeorgeasaurus · 28/05/2008 15:08

Grapefruitmoon - Mine was in waste disposal but it meant on big jobs we had involvement with other authorities so got a background on who was who.

Need info on skips? - I'm your gal

GrapefruitMoon · 28/05/2008 15:18

Well, you seem to know as much as me and I used to be a bit of an authority on these sort of things (and I know this is v. sad but I sort of miss it sometimes!)

SaintGeorgeasaurus · 28/05/2008 15:21

Oh I know, awful isn't it. How sad are we?

Whole area where I live is full of skips (flood renovation work everywhere) and I find myself tutting at uneven loads, missing lights & cones etc.

Left the job over 6 years ago

GrapefruitMoon · 28/05/2008 15:27

I always have a strange compulsion to peer down manholes!

SaintGeorgeasaurus · 28/05/2008 15:31


Start carrying a thin stick and then if people stare you can prod around and pretend you have dropped your keys.

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