Potential Purchase Cesspit Nightmare?

Potential Purchase Cesspit Nightmare?

9:09 AM, 29th December 2020, About 3 years ago 3

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Should I consider buying a property that has a communal cess-pit in/on its land despite the fact that the property I am in the process of buying no longer uses the cess-pit as it was put onto Mains Drainage and Sewerage about 10 years ago?

The covenants on all the properties say that each property served by the cess-pit are responsible for the communal costs of maintenance and emptying.

I would be grateful for any advice offered.

Thank you

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Mike T

11:09 AM, 29th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Hi Grace, so as your, potential, property is no longer served by the cess-pit you could argue that you are not liable to contribute to any maintenance costs. Has the seller paid anything towards the cess-pit in the last 10 years. It should have been disclosed in pre-contract inquiries. Your solicitor would/should be the best person to advise.

Freda Blogs

13:18 PM, 29th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Hi Grace

1. From what you say it sounds like a cess pit and not a septic tank - sometimes they are confused but the management of them of them (plus costs and possible risk) is different?

2. I would want to know about whether and by whom it is still used, and what measures there are in place for safety? Is it filled in?

If not, I suggest you also look into exclusion of liability/ insurance for problems with the cess pit itself or its access point. I say this because I had a house with cess pit (large brick chamber in middle of garden) which was perfectly fine, but I was in control of it and had a regular arrangement with local contractor for emptying. In my case no children/animals unknown persons were wandering round in the garden. The access point was a cast iron manhole cover - and it would not be a good outcome if someone fell into the chamber or if the manhole rusted through...

Graham Bowcock

18:23 PM, 29th December 2020, About 3 years ago

Shared cess pits and septic tanks are very common in rural areas. I have dealt with many. The key thing you need to do is to find out what is documenedt and what happens in practice. If the house is no longer needing it, can you get an undertaking about future costs?

Maintenance costs are not usually great, but you do need to be aware of recent legislation about discharges and the need to register with the Environment Agency. This is really a problem for those using the discharge, but you need to avoid being drawn in if there's any problem in the future.

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