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Water & Drainage Searches – Do I need one

House Network

When selling a property, it can be really beneficial to have a comprehensive water and drainage search conducted on your home before moving. As buying a house is such a huge investment, ensuring that you won’t be troubled with drainage issues later along the line is important.

In some cases, a water and drainage search is needed before you can sell or buy a property to obtain a mortgage. A comprehensive drainage and water search used to be compulsory but after water companies were privatised it became an optional extra. It may seem unnecessary to cash buyers as in many cases a previous owner can confirm the information verbally. But it can be very useful to confirm the details officially and have them to hand in case of any future problems.

What is a water and drainage search?

Essentially, a water and drainage search is simply an enquiry that is made by a solicitor to the local water board to find out information about the sewerage systems and water supply to a property. It reveals information about the following criteria:

  • Connections to Mains Water
  • Connections to Mains Sewer (if applicable)
  • Locations of water supplies and sewers
  • Undertakers of sewage & water supply

What helpful information can be provided?

The water and drainage search can provide owners and potential buyers with a variety of detailed extra information to help them make an informed choice regarding whether or not to buy the property. This includes:

  • how the property is charged for water and wastewater services – if it is measured on a meter or unmeasured and charged on rateable value
  • whether the property is connected to a public water supply
  • whether the property is connected to a public sewer
  • whether the property is affected by water mains or public sewers running through it or nearby.

The water company can then require entry to the land for inspection, repair or replacement and they can also advise regarding plans for any development or extension being built over or near the pipes.

The search result will include plans showing the location of the sewers and water mains which are owned by the drainage and water companies, which can be really helpful for those who are looking to renovate or extend a property in the future.

How does it affect my mortgage?

It’s important to have a water and drainage search to find out whether your property is connected to a mains supply or not. It is sometimes required by mortgage companies when looking at new properties to have this information as many are reluctant to offer you a mortgage without confirmation of the water and drainage search.

Having a water and drainage search is a really sensible idea when buying or selling your property. Not only does it provide you with peace of mind, it also acts as a huge warning if you’re considering buying a property which could lead to having a lot of future complications.

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