Blocked drain due to tenant upstairs

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    Blocked drain due to tenant upstairs


    im hoping I can get some advice on an issue I have.

    Im the leaseholder of a ground floor flat and the freeholder of the property rents the flat upstairs to tenants.

    There is a newish tenant upstairs who is a bit of a nightmare. Yesterday, I noticed a stink in my kitchen. I have a drain outside my kitchen which is located along the side on the property. I should had it’s a shared drain and my kitchen aink pipe connects to it and the wastepipe upstairs.

    My wastepipe doesn’t lead out into this drain, mine is at the back of the property and is connected to the neighbours.

    I went outside and the drain outside my kitchen was completely blocked and overflowing **** everywhere. I had a quick look and could see lots of wipes floating. I spoke to the tenant and she denied it but it’s definitely her as only her wastepipe is connected to this drain. She has a toddler so I can only assume she’s wiping his bum and throwing them down the toilet!

    Anyway, I contacted the LL and advised her that this needs to be dealt with urgently. It’s a shared drain so normally we would have to share the price to unlock it but luckily, the owner upstairs has British Gas cover so they sent dynorod out.

    dynorod came and dealt with it and told me there was a huge lump of wipes in the drain and that I need to have serious word with the tenant. I have done that and I also told the LL to have words, and she was appalled.

    The thing that has annoyed me the most is the side of the property is an alleyway which is communal. The drain is right near my back door and gravel I had put down is full of ****. This morning I’ve had to remove a load of it and water down and bleach the whole area. Now normally this is shared and so it should be a joint cost to me and the LL but in this instance I just wanted it dealt with ASAP.

    My my concern is going forward, where do I stand with this? I don’t see why I should have to clean her tenants crap up I future. Ideally a professional should come out to do this but would I be liable to pay half of the cost?

    Any advixe would be much appreciated.


    The freeholder should charge himself and administrative charge for the breach of the covenant, assuming it exists, to not throw stuff in the toilets.

    Whether you can take action against the freeholder to make them do this will depend on the wording of the lease, but there are generally significant hurdles to doing so.


      First and foremost with regards the situation thus far, have you put this in writing to both the tenant and the freeholder?


        Thanks. What about their tenant, could there be something if their tenancy about this?


          It is a fairly common problem that AST's are done with boiler plate tenancy agreements, which fail to reflect the superior long lease. However, in any case, you are not party to the tenancy agreement, so what the tenancy agreement says would be used as the basis of action by the tenant's landlord, not by you.

          (If the long lease requires consent to let, best practice appears to be to make that consent depend on the tenant entering into a deed, with the freeholder, to comply with the covenants and other restrictions, in the long lease. Even better would be to enter into a deed with all the freeholders, individually, at least in a case like this, where there bias in one freeholder could prevent the freeholder taking action.)


            There ain't no superior lease.


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