Blocked Drains Outside? Who Is Responsible?

Who Pays for unblocking the drains outside? This is a question that we get frequently asked by our customers at WP Drainage. Whether it is the property owner, council or the occupant, deciding on who is responsible for the drains can be very confusing. In this blog, we will help you understand how to decide who is the owner of the drainage system. Most of us bother about “Who is responsible for drainage” only when it is blocked and causing a nuisance. It is important to find the exact cause and area of blockage. This will help in understanding the owner of the drainage system. Blocked drains are caused due to various reasons. It usually starts with a funny smell or even a gurgling sound that can progress into a sink that won’t drain. Most of the time, drain blocks can be dealt the residents or owners, but only after one knows who is responsible for maintaining and repairing the drains. First, let’s understand how does a drainage system gets blocked. Drain blockages happen when the following things get trapped inside the drain:
  • Leaves
  • Branches
  • Tree roots
  • Soil
  • Dirt
  • Mud
  • Moss
  • Litter and other waste items
  • Wipes
  • Tampons & pads
  • Soap scum
  • The broken part of the pipes
  • Fats, oil and grease
  • Coffee grounds
  • Hair

Who is responsible for blocked drains?

The gutters and drainage pipes that are attached to your property, as well as any toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers, are all subject to your maintenance obligations. The underground pipe that runs from your property to where it connects to public sewage is also your responsibility.

Blocked drains in your property

The homeowner is accountable for the immediate outside kitchen drain as well as all internal drains on their property. You can find out who is in charge of an external or shared drain by getting in touch with your neighbourhood water or sewerage organisation.

Blocked road drains

Road drains, particularly those on country roads, are the responsibility of your local government or council. You are typically responsible for drains up to the edge of your yard or driveway as a homeowner.

Blocked drains in the rented property

The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, section 11, states that it is the landlord’s duty to see to the upkeep of their property. This includes ensuring that the plumbing, drainage, fittings, and fixtures are in good working order both before you move in and throughout your rental time. Landlords are in charge of making ensuring that the property is secure and habitable. Landlords must be responsible for showing proof that the drains have been in good working order and that regular preventative maintenance is being carried out. After the tenants sign a contract and have moved in, then the damages caused to the property or drainage system should be taken care of by the tenants themselves. This will include the blockages caused due to clogged hair, foreign objects, wet pipes or sanitary pipes and other damages to the property.

Who is responsible for drain covers?

Maintaining a drain that is inside the boundaries of a property you own, including its cover, is your responsibility. Sewers and lateral drains are both the responsibility of your neighbourhood water and sewerage company.

How to locate the blocked drainage?

You can contact a professional drainage company in your area, as they can do the needful to locate the blockage in the drainage system. CCTV drain inspection can be used to look inside and locate the problem precisely. So remember, if a blocked drain is causing a huge nuisance, then the first thing to do is to find out who is responsible for repairing the same. You can speak with your insurer for more advice if it falls within your territory (or if you’re unsure). However, you must get in touch with your water company if the obstruction extends beyond your property line. You can visit Water UK and enter your postcode if you’re unsure who this is. Feel free to reach out to us, as our drainage experts will be happy to help you.