There are drains everywhere; on your street, outside your home and possibly some in your garden. But who owns them? And whose job is it to repair them if things go wrong?
As a general rule, you will usually be responsible for drains inside the boundaries of your property, while your water/sewage company will be responsible for drains outside of property boundaries and sewers. They will also maintain, and own, any lateral drains – these are drains which you’ll share with neighbours.
Drains on your property
If you need to repair a drain on your property you will need to foot the bill. You are free to choose any company to do the work and can have it done at your convenience. If you have drains on your property, you may consider taking out insurance, as this will help cover costs of any work or maintenance. It’s not unusual for a local authority to require you to have insurance for drains on your property. If you want to check if you’re effected by this, contact your building insurance company and they will be able to confirm if it is needed at your address.
A local authority can also order you to carry out work or drain replacement of a private drain, if, for example, the drain isn’t sufficient enough for the size of your property and is causing problems such as blockages.
What about drains outside of your property boundary?
Sewers and lateral drains which are connected to a public network are the responsibility of your local water company. Any problems which arise with these, you can simply contact them. If they ask to enter your property to inspect or maintain a drain or sewer, they do have the right to do this. So bare that in mind if you give them a call.