Drains connected to old buildings are not of the same quality as drains connected to new buildings.

It is sensible to get a CCTV drains inspection done before you proceed to exchange contracts on the purchase of any older building – whether Listed or not.   This inspection involves locating all the drainage inspection covers and then pushing a camera on a very long flexible ‘rod’ (like a hose pipe) into the drain for as far it can go.   The end point should be to the mains drain connection, septic tank or private sewage treatment tank.

Common failures of old drains are found to be roots from trees and other vegetation, fractures, blockages and collapses.   Open joints that arise from ground movement are also found quite regularly.

The cost of fixing any drainage issue can be very expensive.   Knowing the condition of the drains before you purchase is an important piece of information.

You will usually be handed photos and video footage of the drains and this will usually pin-point precisely where the fault has occurred.

This test/inspection is entirely optional, but it is definitely a good investment before you purchase an older property.

Some property is connected to a private drainage installation, and not to the public mains sewer system.   On 1st January 2020 new legal Regulations came into force and apply to private drainage, typically old septic tanks, that might have had an outflow to a watercourse or drain.   You can read about the new General Binding Rules 2020 here..:

General Binding Rules 2020

It is essential that the buyer of a property with a private drainage installation can obtain verification that it complies with the General Binding Rules 2020.   The costs for a new private drainage installation is likely to be very expensive indeed.  The homeowner is responsible for compliance with the General Binding Rules.  So, in the first instance the buyers lawyers will be looking to the sellers lawyers in the TA6 questionnaire to establish compliance.  Where is a question over compliance the discussion can become quite difficult over what can be realistically achieved before the purchase or what can be negotiated for after the purchase.


Disclaimer:   Anything posted in this Blog is for general information only and it is not in any way intended to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, on any general or specific matter that you can rely on.  You should always seek your own legal advice.