Backflowing Sewage from block of flats? Who pays?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    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?

    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.


      "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.


      Latest Activity


      • 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
        by pt888
        A property recently came back onto the market for the reason being that the previous buyer was unable to lend money from his bank due to the lease only having 87 years remaining, the estate agent therefore said that going forward only cash-buyers would be considered. Out of those cash buyers i was selected....
        28-01-2022, 20:38 PM
      • Reply to 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
        by L4NDLORD
        If you have a solicitor ask him to download a copy of the lease from HM Land Registry, it will inform you of the rent payable etc. Costs about three quid, plus your solicitors time (ten minutes!)
        29-01-2022, 00:57 AM
      • Reply to 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
        by L4NDLORD
        The city will probably insist you served notice and that they obtain a valuation for which you will almost certainly have to pay. Even so with 87 years unexpired its still not going to cost very much, a few thousand pounds. The solution to your question is to ask the seller to serve the notice on the...
        29-01-2022, 00:56 AM
      • Lease extension triggers doubling ground rent change
        by SouthernDave
        Has anyone had dealing with doubling ground rents?
        i have just asked for a quote for a lease extension and they are proposing new ground rent terms of a doubling ground rent every 25 years. My commercial guy has said some lenders don't like these which may reduce the value of the property of i...
        25-01-2022, 22:53 PM
      • Reply to Lease extension triggers doubling ground rent change
        by L4NDLORD
        it is quite true that the professionals unnecessarily make a meal of this type of work. One of the planks of my submission to Professor Hophins was that the landlord's costs should be limited to 500 pounds. I also suggested that relativity be standardised nationally (accepting that there would be winners...
        29-01-2022, 00:51 AM
      • Reply to Service charges according to floorspace vs lease stipulation
        by sgclacy
        So the new lessee who wishes to challenge the proportion would have seen BEFORE he purchased the flat what percentage he was to pay - the unfairness of the bargain was patently clear BEFORE he purchased and may we’ll have been reflected in the price paid for the flat. So notwithstanding all of that...
        28-01-2022, 22:45 PM
      • Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
        by bigalxyz
        Director of RMC - 11 flats in London
        There seems to be a long standing problem with the plumbing in the bathroom of one of the flats. 4 water leaks in the last 18 months, causing damage to the flat below.

        Is there anything the RMC can do to compel the leaseholder of the problem flat...
        28-01-2022, 16:05 PM
      • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
        by bigalxyz
        There's no single cause - there have been multiple leaks - each time a different cause. Blocked bath overflow, leaking washing machine hose, leaking toilet cistern inlet, failed balloon valve in toilet, shower screen not fitted properly...all kinds of things. Just general neglect. Owner's never there,...
        28-01-2022, 22:32 PM
      • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
        by bigalxyz
        Thank you.

        I plan to leaf through the lease at the weekend - there may well be clauses along the lines that you suggest (it does ring a bell). Also I do know that there's a clause along the lines of "leaseholders mustn't do anything to mess up the insurance of the building, and are...
        28-01-2022, 22:30 PM
      • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
        by Macromia
        What it says in the lease is mostly what you have to rely on. I would be looking for any clauses that the flat needs to be kept in a good state of repair, and in particular anything that mentions keeping the pipes that serve the flat in a good state of repair and replaced when necessary and anything...
        28-01-2022, 20:53 PM