How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

My grandson purchased a property in 2008. during the last

This answer was rated:

My grandson purchased a property in 2008.
during the last 12 months he has had drawn up plans for an extension to the house onto his backgarden area. These were submitted to the local council and all approved. During the digging out of the area to enable the footings to be laid he came upon water pipes that included the main sewerage pipes from adjoining properties and out to the main sewer.
He has had to pay the water board £356 before they would even come out to visit the site. They have submitted a legal document to him for his signature which has now been sent to the mortgage company ( they have acknowledged receipt).There is no drawing with the local planning authority to show pipes are in the property ( garden area) and the water board know nothing of the pipes being laid as such.Question is would the solicitor acting on my grandsons behalf during the purchase of the property be responsible for the searches and establishing there are pipes. Should that solicitor be reponsible to have let him know at the time of purchase of the possible problem and indeed should he have let the mortgage company know. If so then would it now be the solicitors problem to sort all this out with the various authorities so that my grand son can continue with his extension. There is a large crater now in the garden, preventing his familly any access to the area and indeed places a dangerous health hazard to his wife and young children.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like to know if the solicitor is responsible as he did the searches for the purchase of the property.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

My colleague has asked me to assist you with this - I specialise in property law.

As part of your sons purchase the solicitor should have carried out a water and drainage search. He should have done so becuase it is a requirement of your sons mortgage lender that the solicitor does so and even were it not the search should be strongly recommended to your son by the solicitor.

The water and drainage search will reveal any pipes that are recorded on the water undertakers records. The first step would therefore be to ask the solicitor for a copy of this search to see what it revealed. If he did not carry one out he may be negligent and responsible for some of your sons costs in this respect. If he did carry one out and it revealed pipes that were not reported to your son, again he may be negligent as above.

It must be said that a water and drainage search will only reveal pipes that are recorded on water undertakers records. It will not be aware of all private pipes that may be laid by developers which were not historically adopted by the water undertaker. The solicitor cannot know about pipes are not recorded in the water and drainage search. If your son advised the solicitor that he wanted to extend the solicitor should have given consideration to beyond simply reporting on the water search also advising the above and that if your son wanted to extend he may wish to commission a pipe survey to check there are no pipes in the way of where he may wish to extend as this can increase the cost of extension either building around them or moving them.

If he does not get a response from the solicitor or he does and he is not satisified with the response because he considers the solicitor was negligent on one or more of the above grounds he can submit a formal complaint to the solicitor and if still unsatisifed, he may refer the complaint free of charge to the Legal Ombudsman which can independently determine the complaint and if it finds in your sons favour award compensation, which determination is binding on the solicitor.

I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks for your reply. Sadly it didn't really tell me any more than i thought i knew.

I would appreciate the free question and answer on this subject but i dont think i would want the trial.

Many thanks , i would appreciate a refund if thats possible.
No more questions that i can think of. I am surprised though that property developers dont have to submit plans for a new development. Say new , really the houses in that estate are probably at least 20-25 years old. I would think !!!Thanks again. shame it douesn't really help my grandson.

Regards...............James Brian Thurlow

Developers do have to submit plans to the local authority but the issue is that until around I think 4 or 5 years ago many what they call lateral pipes (i.e. non main pipes) would not be the water undertakers responsibility so they didn't bother keeping records of them. That has now changed but it is a huge task adding all the pipes to their database which will take years and will probably never be fully complete. I will ask customer services to cancel your subscription.

Best wishes.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

many thanks for that. I have tried contacting the solicitor who actually carried out the purchase and searches but he fails to return my calls. Making an appointment to see him hopefully Monday 1st June.

Thanks for your help and the possible refund.

regards ***** ***** thurlow

A pleasure. The solicitor owes no duty to you unless you were also his client. His only duty to his client which I think from what you say above is just your grandson. He will not be allowed to discuss anything with you unless your grandson has specifically authorised him to do so so it may be worth considering asking your grandson to email him to authorise and request him to deal directly with you or you may come away with a frustrating experience. All the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

many thanks for your reply. managed to contact the solicitor and we are of the same opinion. Honestly very helpful and appreciates what i am trying to do. He said he is in the office sunday and will be in touch.

Good start i hope.

If you cant organise refund i wont mind really. You have tried your best and i cant ask for more.


James .