Septic tank electricity.

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    Septic tank electricity.

    Hi, I’m a farmer (in England) with two cottages that are currently rented out. We have spring water ( which I’m responsible for) and septic tanks for sewerage. I’ve never made any charges for water or sewerage ( despite spending ~40K on improving the water supply over the past few years).

    I would like to put a new septic tank in for the cottages- this would be one of these small electric digester plants. The most logical thing would be to wire it in to the nearest electrical supply, which is the nearest cottage ( which would then effectively be supplying the electricity for the sewerage for both cottages) Would that be ok? Obviously I’d be upfront when letting the cottage and would bear it in mind when setting the rent.

    #2
    It would be very difficult to get that into a tenancy agreement to make it work.

    You can't just use someone else's electricity.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      Is it using someone else’s electricity when it’s providing a service that is needed by the tenant? I don’t think it would make much sense to have to put in two treatment plants!

      This could be one of the final nails in the coffin for us as landlords!

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        #4
        AST or agricultural tenancy please?
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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          #5
          theartfullodger AST

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            #6
            What's wrong with a regular cess pit ? Problem with using one tenants leccy comes when they get cut off or run out of credit or just trip the circuit and the sh*t might hit the fan ....

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              #7
              I think regular septic tanks are kind of frowned on these days- the electric ones are preferred I believe (although I’m no expert). Cess-pits - they need emptied out regularly? Access to the site would be fairly poor for that!

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                #8
                It depends how you treat them. As long as they're big enough and tenants don't put things down they shouldn't (wet wipes that don't decompose and chemicals that kill the bugs) they last a long time. The change was that you're no longer allowed to drain into a stream but a soakaway is OK. Didn't they change the law so you can't sell it if it doesn't have a soakaway? People who empty them can usually pipe it a fair way.
                It would be fairer if you could meter it so you know how much it uses and they can each contribute.

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                  #9
                  How far from one of your own electric circuits? Don;t think I'd like the complications of either try to agree price and also what to do if on a pay-as-you-go top-up meter (which tenant has an absolute right to have) that runs out of credit and you end up really really in the doo-doo.

                  Does your landlord insurance cover you for providing this "service"?? You really should ask (or find you've voided - unfortunate word - your policies and can't claim at all... )
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    theartfullodger Alas no electric for several hundred metres and it would be an utter ball-ache of a route to dig in armoured cable (drains, water pipes, fences, hedges, large trees).

                    Does my landlord insurance cover me for providing a septic tank for the tenants? No idea ( I should check!) but I guess I’d be having difficulty with the council if I failed to provide it!

                    TBH I’m getting thoroughly put off being a landlord long-term. These cottages are solid enough, but they’re bumping along at the bottom of the EPC after loft insulation was upgraded. There isn’t much low-hanging fruit left to improve the EPC for the next time it’s raised. My intention last year was to gain possession of one cottage (that’s going well *rolleyes*), take stock and do some major renovation, insulation etc (kitchen out, bathroom out sort of stuff), maybe give the place a better layout by sacrificing a bedroom to move the bathroom upstairs. I would replace the septic tank as part of these works. Then invite the other tenants to swap houses if they want, and repeat.

                    My long term intention would have been to use the plot to build a retirement house for myself and my wife (in20+ years), but it’s likely that regaining possession will be more difficult then (and it ain’t looking straightforward at the moment!) I’m thinking that maybe the best thing to do would be to exit the landlord business sooner rather than later (losing the locality two households) and put the money I’ve been setting aside for renovations into demolishing the cottages and rebuilding something slightly amazing to run as a holiday let until we want it back.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Slackjawedyokel View Post
                      Is it using someone else’s electricity when it’s providing a service that is needed by the tenant? I don’t think it would make much sense to have to put in two treatment plants!
                      It would be using someone else's electricity because the tank is shared with another property who don't provide electricity (sharing a septic tank sounds like a terrible idea in itself, btw).

                      What's wrong with a conventional septic or combination tank?
                      We've got a combination tank (sewage and grey water) that's worked fine for more than a decade and has never needed emptying, because we're pretty sensible about what gets put in it (although one fine day...!)
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Slackjawedyokel View Post
                        theartfullodger ...

                        Does my landlord insurance cover me for providing a septic tank for the tenants? No idea ( I should check!) but I guess I’d be having difficulty with the council if I failed to provide it!.....
                        I was perhaps insufficiently clearly suggesting seeing if current policy covered you providing a shared private sewage system - and if not, get a policy that does cover this.

                        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          jpkeates possibly there’s nothing wrong with a conventional tank- the existing brick tank has served well over several decades but is past its best and should really be replaced at some point. I thought ( May have got the wrong end of the stick) that new regs meant that active treatment plants were what was preferred these days, but we’re not discharging to a watercourse so we may be ok with a ‘normal’ septic tank. I will do some more research.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            This might help
                            https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com...nk-legislation
                            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              What we have in place currently probably complies with current regulations as it doesn’t discharge to a watercourse or drain. It will need to be replaced - most folks seem to think that treatment plants are the way to go, others think they are no better than septic tanks, maybe worse. I will ponder it further; Thankyou all for your help.

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