Happy Drains Blog

Shared Drains and Sewers – who is responsible?

Are you not sure if you share a drain with a neighbouring property or street? It can be confusing sometimes as to who is responsible for what, especially if you feel there might be an issue in need of repair.

Here is our guide to shared drains and who might be responsible when things go wrong.

Shared and private in a nutshell

You’re usually responsible for drains inside the boundaries of your property, and for lateral drains and sewers outside the property a sewerage company is usually responsible for. Most sewers are now publicly owned, however there are still some private sewers. If your property is served by a private sewer, you may be responsible for maintaining it.


Private & Shared drain repairs

Any drains that are inside your property boundary are typically your responsibility and are your private drains. So, any blockages, damage or inspections to your privates drain will be at your cost unless you have insurance to cover for any works on private drains.

The lateral drain, which is the length of pipe that carries wastewater away from your property to a sewer Is usually shared drain with your neighbour and should be the responsibility of the water supplier to do any repairs.


Repairs to Sewers

Sewers are maintained by your local water company at no cost to you, and if there is an issue with it, they might have to enter your property to inspect the pipes to the sewer.

If you live in a block of flats however, this sometimes might mean you have a private sewer, so you could be responsible for any repairs where all the owners are jointly responsible for the costs.


Still not sure who is responsible?

If you still feel none the wiser if you are connected to public or private sewer, the best thing to do is check with your sewerage company, check the deeds of your property, and check with your local authority.


If you need any help with your private drains just call us and we will be happy to advise. Dial 07824 757572 to speak to a friendly advisor today.