Backflowing Sewage from block of flats? Who pays?

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    Backflowing Sewage from block of flats? Who pays?

    A couple of weeks ago, I had an emergency where sewage was backflowing into my ground floor flat. Asked tenant to call the water company, who cleared the blockage and said it was wet wipes. The said the blockage was at the boundary and it should been a private matter. My tenant said she does n't use wet wipes.

    I don't know the layout of the waste pipes. So I don't know, whose responsibility it is. Is it just me an the flat which is stacked above me. Their toilet pipe runs inside my flat). There are no waste pipes on the outer side of the building (1980s build).


    There six flat in the block. So it could be possible, some of the wipes could be from a neighbouring flat, but I don't know how the sewage pipes run....

    The water company did n't charge for clearing it, but who is responsible for paying? (if they had charged).

    I tried to reach the flat above, but they did n't pick up phone calls. As I had wanted the costs to be shared for drain clearing.

    The Freeholder is only office based and there is no emergency number..... Would I been right to call a drainage company and then send them the bill for it to be shared out?

    Any advice?




    #2
    In my experience the water company themselves will charge everyone upstream if the cause cannot be identified. Obviously a private company is a different matter.

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      #3
      "Who pays?"

      That depends what it says in the leases, and whether it can be 'proved' that a particular household is responsible for the problem.

      My lease makes it very clear that I am responsible for anything that serves only my property (including sewage pipes) but that the freeholder is responsible for any communal pipes. If this was in my property the freeholder would therefore be responsible for paying in a situation like this, but the cost would then be shared by all leaseholders in the service charges.
      If it could be demonstrated that a specific household was responsible for the problem, the freeholder could hypothetically take that household to court to recover the costs instead of charging the cost to leaseholders - but realistically they won't because they have nothing to gain from doing so.

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