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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8564
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have a pit in my garden which has been there since the

Customer Question

I have a cess pit in my garden which has been there since the house was built 90 yrs ago. In the eighties the council allowed an estate to be built around my property and now I'm cut off from a mains sewer point to connect to mains drainage. The nearest point is less than ten feet away but we would have to go under someone's drive to access it and my neighbours have refused to help us. Yesterday a huge tree came down in my garden and my 90yr old cess pit has disintegrated. Now we have no drainage. Have I a right to access a main drain... Crisis point.....
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 8 months ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok I will wait
Expert:  F E Smith replied 8 months ago.
Is there an alternative way to the sewer?Have you offered any compensation to the neighbour or to simply pay for the right?Please confirm that you have no rights to access the neighbour's drains which is noted in your deeds?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 8 months ago.
I will deal with this for you as well as I am able without the extra information. Unless there is anything in the deeds allowing you access, the neighbour cannot be made to give you access. Sometimes, offering money is going to be an incentive for the neighbour to allow you this kind of access. Rebuilding a septic tank/cesspit is not going to be cheap and if you calculate the cost of replacing the tank (which is going to be your only alternative) and compare that with the cost of connecting to the main drain/sewer plus some compensation for the neighbour, you will know how much to offer.If for example it’s going to cost £10,000 to replace the septic tank but only £5000 to connect to the sower, any money that you offer the neighbour below £5000, as compensation for allowing the access, is going to be financially beneficial to you particularly when you consider the house will then have the benefit of mains sewerage.There would be a legal cost of probably about £1000 for creating the easement and putting it in both sets of deeds for the access to place the sewer and also for ongoing maintenance.Whoever owns the tree may actually be responsible for this. If it’s your tree, contact your insurance company. If it’s a neighbours or local authority tree it would be worthwhile contacting them with a view to claiming from their insurer.Can I assist further?Please don’t forget to rate the service positive.Best regardsFES

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