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    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2017
     
    Does anyone know the legals with regards to the drain in my photo.

    I am currently on a shared combined system with my semi neighbour. I am planning on providing my own outlet and new drainage system as part of my new extension.

    The current set up has my drains flowing under my old conservatory area (now dug out) and then under the neighbours wall, on through his conservatory and then down his drive.

    There is also a weird drainage setup where one of the neighbours drains goes through his wall and forms a semi circle under my conservatory area and then tees into the drain run which goes under the wall. I think this was done in the past because of the conservatory the neighbour had built. So it is like an added loop to the drainage system. It is only an occasionally used over flow drain for his conservatory roof.

    This drain will be right under my new foundations and i have suggested to do away with this underground pipe and instead allow the water to flow into my small section of guttering and down a drain pipe. This would then run horizontally along my new extension wall and fall into the first gully drain on my new line of drainage.

    We are effectively removing any underground issues for the future.

    My neighbour was all for it, but today has seen the pipe i have exposed and wants me to concrete over as you normally would do (lintels etc). I think he is having some issues with his elderly dad and so wasn't in the best of moods.

    So as i understand it the drains have to stay, even though it seems crazy to have them under the extension.

    Couple of questions:

    1) you can see from the other photo taken earlier that my house was also using this drain to take water away for my washing machine. The previous owner put this in and had simply cut the pipe and placed and taped his new outlet onto this join. The neighbour says i must fix this pipe as it is broken.

    What is my position here ? If the pipe is my neighbours am i also responsible for it because it is on my land ?

    What happens in the future if the pipe gets blocked after the new extension is in place. Who fixes the pipe ? I will not be using it at all because my washing machine will be using my own new drainage ?

    2) My neighbour has also said i cannot use his wall to run any drainage pipe on it. What is my position with regards to this wall ? Apparently he has built it off centre on his land so he owns it all. Does this mean i cannot use the wall to fit a trellis in the future for plants ?

    3) The capping on the wall is tile and brick. One tile of the capping on my side has broken over the years (looks like it was broken to install the conservatory). He said i needed to repair it today as well.

    4) Who would i see for some legal advise about this issue if i cannot work it out amicably.

    My neighbour is a bit strange and i have tried my hardest to get on with him over the years. He had a huge fallout with his other neighbours about them building a wall. He is very sensitive about his property and everything has to be done right.

    It was his idea about fitting the drain pipe to take the excess water instead of using the drain, so i am a little bit lost at the moment.
      IMG_0439.jpg
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2017
     
    Photo showing my bottle trap removed later today showing how the two were connected. I am temporarily running the washing machine outlet into it for a few days.
      IMG_0441.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2017
     
    Posted By: marsadayWhat is my position here ?

    Somebody else's drain in your property is called a 'lateral drain' and isn't either you or your neighbour's responsibility. It is the responsibility of your water authority.

    If the brick wall in the photo is 'his' wall then I think, but am not sure, that the Party Wall Act is likely to be involved.

    Given your description of the situation, I think you need either:

    - a solicitor who is expert in party wall and shared drainage issues, or

    - a surveyor of such issues who is also legally qualified, or

    - a firm that employs both surveyors and solicitors

    You also need to speak to your water authority before making any changes to their drain, and before attempting to make a new connection to their sewer.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2017
     
    Ok thanks for the info. Yes it is his wall.

    The party wall act does not apply here because i am not going below the walls foundations. The foundation you see in the photo is from my ex conservatory. My new extension is being built 450mm to the side of that wall. That drain will run right under the new foundation strip.

    I have been told that the water company is responsible for the drains on his side because he has the only outlet into the sewer. My side is private. However, i have had a camera survey done and i also have my own outlet into the sewer from a single downpipes at the front of the house. So because i am doing a new extension, it makes sense to reroute my drains into this connection. This way i avoid having the drain running under the new extension, plus i was hoping to remove this lateral drain run (which nobody seems to know about according to the water company). I wonder if my neighbour is at fault for not informing them ?

    I thought all i needed to do was tell BC, who are actually involved with my build.

    So do you think the best plan is to speak to the water company tomorrow and see what they say ?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2017
     
    Posted By: marsadaySo do you think the best plan is to speak to the water company tomorrow and see what they say ?

    Yes
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    Spoke to the water company and they don't think it is their responsibility. Am sending photos and a video later so they can better understand the situation.
    • CommentAuthorJamster
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    I was under the impression that any gray / black water domestic connections were private drains when they serve a single property (irrespective of the land they are on, and the responsibility of the person who uses i.e., gains benefit them) and with recent-ish changes is legislation, any shared drains were defined as sewers and the responsibility of the sewerage untertaker (water company?)

    So single pipe only used by neighbour is his responsibility only; if you tap into / join it, its a sewer (belonging to the water company) from that point. If you tap into 'their' or a private pipe, its a sewer downstream from there. The Water co may stipulate the standard you do this to; it might be under building regs.

    From your most recent post, sounds like the water co think its a single-use drain.

    If you are seeking to divert a private drain not for your use but on your land, which it sounds like you might be, you might need to dig around further, literally or figuratively...
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    The tapping into this drain by the previous owner of my house won't have been notified. The works done to create this loop into my garden also wasn't notified. So the water company don't know about it until today. I am trying to get through to see if they have got my photos and map.

    Diverting this drain is really easy to do. I just have no idea if i am allowed to do it because i think it is my neighbours. He has contacted planning now and asked me not to do any further work. I wasn't going to, but very frustrating.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    Spoke to a surveyor and he seems to think i can reroute it so long as it leaves the neighbour no worse off. So this is potential better news. Means i have to dig up that block of foundation though :(
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    Posted By: JamsterI was under the impression that any gray / black water domestic connections were private drains when they serve a single property (irrespective of the land they are on, and the responsibility of the person who uses i.e., gains benefit them) and with recent-ish changes is legislation, any shared drains were defined as sewers and the responsibility of the sewerage untertaker (water company?)

    I believe your understanding is wrong, perhaps because out of date. Check any of the water authority sites, they all seem to have pages describing lateral drains etc. In this case it appears the confusion is because none of the work was ever notified.

    Posted By: marsadayDiverting this drain is really easy to do. I just have no idea if i am allowed to do it because i think it is my neighbours. He has contacted planning now and asked me not to do any further work. I wasn't going to, but very frustrating.

    Definitely time to get some professional advice, IMHO. Especially with unregistered previous work. Somebody will have to pay to make everything kosher, IMHO.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    Where is the nearest manhole?
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2017
     
    The nearest manhole is over the wall in neighbours garden.

    With regards to paying - The solution to this is very simple and because i am doing all work myself it will cost maybe £50 plus my time. It just depends on what i am actually allowed to do. BC will see it next week as will the water company i suppose.

    This work was done about 20 years ago so i think it didn't need to be certified with the water board. Rules have changed since the water companies have taken control of the pipes etc.

    I am confident this will be solved, just frustrating i don't have the answers at the moment.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017 edited
     
    The responsibility for some drains changed in 2011(?). Perhaps scroll down to the diagram..

    https://www.stwater.co.uk/households/pipes-leaks-and-drains/responsibility-for-sewer-pipes
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017
     
    This seems to say the drain is my responsibility. If this is the case then great because i can make a fix. If it is the neighbours and he can dictate what i need to do then it isn't so great.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017
     
    No, it doesn't. His private drain from his conservatory becomes their lateral drain as soon as it enters your property and it turns into a shared sewer where your drain joins it. If you check the Altering your property tab, it says you need their permission before starting work, so I'm pleased they are coming to see it. And their Building & Developing page says "If you're making any change to an existing sewer connection for e.g. - change of development, flows, utilising an existing connection. This will require our approval. You can't connect to a public sewer without approval from Severn Trent."

    It should all work out well, but especially given your neighbour's touchiness, I still suggest getting some professional advice.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJul 1st 2017
     
    Well hopefully the water company will come out. I sent a video, map and photos fri afternoon. The woman technical officer seemed to think it wasn't theirs but asked for a drawing and photos. It is hard to explain on the phone the exact layout. Fingers crossed
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2017
     
    The water company say it is 100% private, but they haven't stipulated who actually owns it (me or the neighbour). I have emailed then again to clarify.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2017 edited
     
    There might be something like a covenant or easement in the title for your/their house. I think you can still get electronic copies of these from the Land registry web site. Last time I did it the cost was very cheap, under £5 I think but you have to register (free).

    Links to the real LR web site....

    via
    https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
    or
    https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk

    If you Google the land registry you will find there are a number of fakes. Some look more professional than the real LR web site. All they do is add a fee and get the info from the real LR site.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJul 3rd 2017
     
    I have my deeds at home and there is no mention of this issue in there. The alterations were done maybe 20 years ago. This loop has been put in i think because my neighbour did not want the drain going under his new conservatory base and foundation. So he routed it out to my garden and back through my own connection which heads over to his property.

    At the time all this house had in this position was a patio i think. The owner at the time then built a conservatory over this drain, but the foundation just missed it. I am wondering now if the building of the conservatory meant the pipe work had to be rerouted more under the base of the conservatory so as to allow the foundation for the conservatory.

    I have also spoken to OFWAT today and they say i should get more info than has been provided by the water company. I have sent a new email asking for specific responsibility information. They must be able to say who is responsible. They could well be passing the buck.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2017
     
    Did the water company tell you in writing that you own it? If so I think I would be inclined to accept what the water company have said, tell the neighbour and just get on with what you need to do.

    Minimise the disruption for the neighbour by laying the new pipes before disconnecting the old ones. With a bit of planning you might be able to make it look like you are leaving to old ones in place then make the switch over and back fill while he's out :-)
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2017
     
    The water company came out after i spoke to OFWAT yesterday.

    It is privately owned and i think it is shared. It is not directly running off the main sewer line, but rather feeds into it from my side, so not the water companies pipes.

    BC came out today as well and we have agreed to alter the drainage under the foundations to cross at 2 points, as it currently runs in the foundation channel. I will have to do bridging.

    My neighbour has a recessed hopper made out of lead and so he doesn't want this altering. I didn't bother pressing him on this issue as he is an unpleasant fellow. The easiest solution was to make this hopper fully water tight and let it fall into my gutter (which it is also doing anyway as a secondary backup). I would then run a surface black drain against the wall and into a new bottle gully. All over the land rather than under it.

    Dogmatic, his wall is his, his house is a castle etc etc. He doesn't want to get involved with another person working on his property as he had a huge fallout with his other neighbour over a new wall. The problem firmly lies in his head, but i am pragmatic and will do what is required now i know i can proceed. Altering the drain won't incur a huge cost as i am doing the work.

    The water guys were good though and i am glad i spoke to them as my plans to run my own drainage out into the road was not going to work out. So i am sticking with the main water pipe running under the full width of my extension and meeting up with this weird semi curve set up. The water guys said this would never have been done though under their control, but it was done 25 years ago and all above board with BC as well.
    • CommentAuthorsnyggapa
    • CommentTimeJul 4th 2017
     
    > The problem firmly lies in his head, but i am pragmatic and will do what is required now i know i can proceed. Altering the drain won't incur a huge cost as i am doing the work.

    an excellent attitude. hassle with neighbours leaves no winners. A pragmatic approach is the best solution as long as you don't get taken for a mug and have to apply a pragmatic (i.e. to your cost) approach to everything else going forwards.
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