Whose Drain and Who Can Use It?

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    Whose Drain and Who Can Use It?

    Hi All,

    The drain is in the rear corner on the land of a leased shop.
    Its for water waste only (not a sewer drain).
    Its currently used by the flat above the shop (leasehold) and by the neighbouring property.

    The neighbouring property is an adjoining plot under a different title entirely.
    A few years ago they extended out back and plumbed into this drain without permission.

    From time to time the drain gets blocked and we all wanted to be clear on whose responsibility it is to maintain it.

    Obviously the sensible thing would be to split the cost but some characters are not so straight forward.


    So you mean the drain is a surface water drain- meant to take rainwater from roofs and runoff?

    I might contact the building inspector of your local council about the illegal dumping of foul waste into this drain ( have I got that right?). They take a very dim view of that.

    Take a look at land registry documents for all the sites - the property owners may have these with there deeds or look online - there is a small charge for online viewing. Often drains are marked and ownership can be determined.

    Freedom at the point of zero............


      shared drains to properties might actually be the responsibility of whoever provides the 'service' of dealing with the waste etc. that doesn't mean to say they cant attempt to 'invoice' for unblocking etc.

      the type of sewer can be determined from the land registry as Interlaken suggested, but as for the waste pipe without permission, if the pipe itself is on or over someone elses land then it has no right to be there irrespective of whether its a combined sewer or not!


        Hi Interlaken,

        The drain takes water waste from kitchens of flat above and shop below.
        The neighbour has piped his gutter into it.

        No toilet waste and apologies if my OP wasnt clear.

        No drains marked on site plans but thanks for suggestion.


          Hi MisterB

          Is that fairly clear that unless there is express permission somewhere the neighbour certainly shouldnt be using the drain?



            as I tried to say, its not the use of the drain BUT the pipes to the drain being over someone elses land that seems to be the real issue.

            if someone built something on the boundary line, to then have a gutter overhanging into someone elses land would require permission, its a bit like an overhanging tree branch, if its over your land you can cut it down because the owner has no right for it to be there, encroaching onto your land (though you must return the 'property' to its owner) I am not suggesting you cut down the gutter or pipe of course! the neighbour might have a right to use the sewer BUT not the right to use your land to access it.


              Thank you I appreciate the clarification


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