The changes to the ownership of drains and sewers which takes place on the 1st of October 2011 has left many people confused. It’s not too difficult to understand how the changes will affect you however, and this can be made simpler still if you know what type of property you live in.
Drain changes for flats
If you live in a flat or an apartment, the drains in your building will be shared by a number of different people. Before the drain ownership changes come into force on the 1st of October, all the residents will be liable to take responsibility for any problems with the drains until the drain enters the public sewer. This could mean that if the drain had a blockage, which was not even within your property boundary, you could still be liable to pay for repairs. It was usually the case that a number of residents would share the cost of the repairs between them, depending on which properties were affected.
After the changes come into force, the flat or apartment owners will still be responsible for the drainage within their property boundary, but will no longer be liable to pay for any repairs to the drainage pipe after it leaves the boundary line. In some instances, it may still be the case that the flat owners will have to come to some sort of agreement about who pays for repairs if the drain has a problem within the property boundary.