bad drains

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    bad drains

    I moved into a property last Thursday. On the day I moved in there was a dreadful smell of sewage which the agent noted on the inventory. I thought maybe it was just bad because the flat had been empty for a couple of months. After cleaning etc it just continues. I have contacted the agency who are in contact with the landlord but no one can let me know when something might happen about it. The smell is so bad sometimes it makes me retch - and i'm a nurse so used to emptying bedpans!
    Please can anyone tell me if there is a time limit for this being investigated and fixed.

    #2
    Tell the agents this is an emergency issue as far as you are concerned. As you have not heard from them have contacted the Environmental Health Department of your local Council.

    At the moment we don't know whether it is a simple blocked drain causing the smell or perhaps something more serious such as a broken sewer or collapsed inspection chamber.

    That is working on the assumption that the smell is indeed from drainage and not something else such as decomposing animal.
    Vic - wicked landlord
    Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
    Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks I've done that this morning. I think it is the drains as it is worst in the bathroom and the kitchen. I've pulled everything out to check for dead mice too!
      Is there a reasonable response period for something like this. I have an 8 month lease and can't bear this smell for that long!

      Comment


        #4
        The Council will notify the landlord of his legal responsibilities .

        If the notice is not complied with within a specified timescale the Council may carry out the work themselves and reclaim the expenses from the person(s) concerned by apportionment of costs.

        The minimum specified time for clearance of a blockage is 48 hours, for minor repairs 7 days and major repairs 21 days. This means that a blockage, for example, could remain in place for 48 hours before the Council can clear it

        Extra cleaning costs and administrative costs are added to the basic unblocking charge by the Council so the landlord will probably try to get things sorted out so as to avoid added expenditure.
        Vic - wicked landlord
        Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
        Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

        Comment


          #5
          smelly drains remedy

          Hi, I used to have smelly drains here in Spain, actually everyone does in the towns & have found a solution after years of trying almost everything.

          Good news is it is cheap & works.

          You need bicarbonate of soda & vinegar. A kg of the former costs 1e here at trade places, ignore the small containers at supermarkets as they won´t last 5 mins. Get 5 l of vinegar, again ignore the branded stuff - any will do.

          Pour a cup or 2 of bicarb down each drain. swill down with a bit of tap water to get the powder down the drain. Pour in 3-4 cups of vinegar. It all foams up & neutralises the smells, repeat daily till the smell goes.

          Hope it helps, I have other tips on stain removal but they will wait.

          Cheers

          Comment


            #6
            Unlike the Spanish we in the UK tend not to have smelly drains unless there is something wrong

            Guess Poolboy's suggestion would deal with a smell from residues in a waste pipe or replace the water seal if a trap had dried out.

            It would not deal with a major blockage or a soil stack or drain.

            Perhaps hrf will keep us informed of the findings and action of the Environmental Health Department
            Vic - wicked landlord
            Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
            Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

            Comment


              #7
              If all drains are running freely, then something has probably built up somewhere which is generating the stink. Such smells cannot enter from the underfloor and underground drains because of the water traps below every drain. The problem must be before this point. Have you tried squirting some proprietory lavatory cleaner down each drain and the small high level drains which prevent overfilling in each bath/wash handbasin/sink? I occasionally have this problem when I have a void and a quick squirt of D****t*s (no advertising) works wonders.

              P.P.
              Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

              Comment


                #8
                If the problem is merely to do with waste traps and overflows then this would show neglect by the landlord. A professional cleaning contractor between tenancies would clean sinks, basins and WC's properly and in doing so refill any dry water traps,

                I have seen sewage ponding between floorboards and sub-floor concrete due to faulty underground drains. A blocked inspection chamber with faulty rendering can cause pervasive smells from leakages.

                The incoming tenant should expect the property to be let in a clean and fresh condition.

                hrf - the original poster - is involved in the care of others and mentions bedpans. I could be wrong but a smell to make her/him retch would seem to be a little more that from an unclean waste pipe.

                We will await the findings of the Environmental Health Department.
                Vic - wicked landlord
                Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Poolboy View Post
                  Hi, I used to have smelly drains here in Spain, actually everyone does in the towns & have found a solution after years of trying almost everything.

                  Good news is it is cheap & works.

                  You need bicarbonate of soda & vinegar. A kg of the former costs 1e here at trade places, ignore the small containers at supermarkets as they won´t last 5 mins. Get 5 l of vinegar, again ignore the branded stuff - any will do.

                  Pour a cup or 2 of bicarb down each drain. swill down with a bit of tap water to get the powder down the drain. Pour in 3-4 cups of vinegar. It all foams up & neutralises the smells, repeat daily till the smell goes.

                  Hope it helps, I have other tips on stain removal but they will wait.

                  Cheers

                  Thanks Poolboy,

                  I have a rental in Tenerife that has this precise problem, I'll give it a go.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have had this problem in my house before, the smell would come and go over the course of two years lasting 2-3 days at a time. After pulling the house apart, cameras down drains and digging up pipes etc I found nothing.

                    One day I noticed the smell outside the house and spoke to my neighbours about it. It turned out that a house a few doors away also had the smell at the same times.

                    So I spoke to the water board, they told me about a dosing machine at the pumping station that needed chemicals to control the smell and when the chemicals ran out we could get a bad smell in the house.

                    After each complaint to the water board the smell would go away. But after 2 years I had enough and complained to OFWAT - since then I am happy to say I have not smelt the smell again.

                    So maybe it is not the house that is at fault!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      drain smells again

                      Funny this thread as I thought my smelly drains were my problem too. I noticed the same stale water sort of smell in the street & traced it to a drain down the road. Since then I get a whiff of the same, it must depend on weather or occupancy but it comes & goes.

                      My solution of bicarb & vinegar is obviously only a temporary solution but as the original poster was having to wait a week or so, at least it neutralises the smell immediately. Sorry it´s not my solution but I googled it & found a great website full of tips (US one, can´t remember the name)

                      I have found lots of great tips & advice on this forum, saved me loads as I would probably have made the same mistake. Thanks ever so much for people´s time in posting, & their honesty in admitting to things I would keep quiet about.

                      Cheers all & Happy Easter.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks all for all of your messages. I have tried 3 bottles of cleaning fluid down the drains at various points last weekend and had no luck. Last night I was nearly sick again when I came home. Dynarod came out today and agreed there is a revolting smell but no blockage (I knew this!!) they are talking about the stack pipe now but this needs the freeholders to sort out. Environmental health are supposed to be contacting me within 3 working days - lets hope! In the meantime I'm going to try the soda trick - anything that might help....
                        I guess I have 2 more questions:
                        Firstly how long is it reasonable for this to go on for before I can start to think about asking to leave the flat - it is starting to make me cry!
                        Secondly I feel like the agency don't believe me even though it was on the inventory, now dynarod have confirmed it. Is there anything else I can do?
                        I get to go on holiday next week but I am really grateful for all your suggestions so please do keep anything coming and I'll keep you updated when I am back.
                        Happy Easter.....

                        Comment

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