When buying a house one of the standard pre-contractual searches to be completed is a drainage search. This search is done through a Con29DW form which can be commissioned by Campions Solicitors on your behalf. The local supplier of Con29DW searches for the Nottinghamshire region is Severn Trent Searches. To find official Con29DW search providers for other regions follow the link to the Con29DW website.
This is an obligatory requirement when obtaining a mortgage, though is still advisable for cash buyers to ensure they are aware of any risks or difficulties associated with the building before purchasing.
The Con29DW report will establish four main areas:
- Whether the property is connected to mains water and drainage systems;
- Where the sewers and mains water supplies are in the local area;
- Who the providers of drainage and water supply in the area are; and,
- How the quality of the drinking water for that area can be checked.
Within a town or city it is rare for a property not to be connected to a drainage system, though this is sometimes the case in rural areas. Where there is not access to a drainage system there will usually be a septic tank to collect foul sewage and a soak away system in place to dispose of excess water. In the Nottinghamshire area this will not normally be a problem, though it is still important to check.
Establishing the location of drainage systems is a little harder as there is currently no centralised map or database of the sewage networks in the UK. The sewage system in the UK has developed in a relatively ad hoc manner as a web of privately owned sewers, not all of these have yet been identified by the local authorities. The Con29DW will identify the drains which serve the relevant property and provide a map showing their location.
As of 2011, all drains which previously were jointly owned have become public drains to ensure that the system is properly maintained. This means it is important to establish the point at which your drains converge with those of any neighbouring properties – only up until that point will you be personally responsible for the maintenance of the drains.
It is important to note that when making an extension to the property you should always notify your local sewage and mains water supplier – in the Nottinghamshire area this will be Severn Trent Water. An extension to your residence may impede access to the drainage system, potentially preventing them from being able to make repairs in the future.
The Con29DW will also tell you whether the sewers serving the property are subject to a section 104 agreement. This is where a property developer reaches an agreement with the local water company for the drainage system serving the property to become publically owned and maintained upon completion. If a section 104 agreement is applicable then there will be no responsibility upon you as the home owner to maintain or repair the property’s drains.
The Con29DW report will be provided with an insurance policy which covers losses suffered due to circumstances which the provider failed to include within the report. This will not cover losses resulting from anything which was included within the report or was outside the scope of the report – only those issues which should have been included but were not.
If you wish to know more about the Con29DW search or to discuss a possible house purchase and the searches you will have to consider, then do not hesitate to get in touch with Campions Solicitors.