Many properties, particularly in more rural areas, still have an old style septic tank, as opposed to an alternative like a small sewage treatment plant.
And since the rules changed on septic tanks in January 2020, some people coming to sell their house have found that buyers want compliance.
Which could mean that factoring in the cost of replacing an outdated system may lead potential buyers to offer less.
General Binding Rules
This legislation was last updated just over a couple of years ago and covers small sewage discharge to a surface water.
While there are guides available to demystify the rules and make sure your own property is compliant – information on house selling is less common.
But the same standards apply, in terms of what someone offering to buy your home may be entitled to expect.
If it currently has a septic tank that doesn’t satisfy the General Binding Rules, it may be necessary to replace or modify the existing system.
And the outlay for this – whether connecting to a mains sewer or replacement with a small sewage treatment plant – could end up being your problem.
Because if your buyers request a pre-purchase drains survey, this will determine what work is needed, leaving them to potentially deduct the cost from their offer.
Pre-purchase drains survey
Sometimes known as ‘homebuyer surveys’, this procedure isn’t currently a legal requirement but increasingly it is being insisted on.
And once one has been conducted, the buyers could then source quotes for work, independent of you.
Which means that their resulting reduced offer could be based on figures that you have no input or influence over.
To avoid this possible costly problem of hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds, it may well make more sense to address the issue yourself.
A comprehensive drains survey from an experienced specialist will determine what’s needed to satisfy a potential survey, giving you more control.
And with your own work completed, there’s no discrepancy between what you think your house is worth and what a buyer may want to subtract.
How else might a septic tank affect my house’s value?
If you currently have a septic tank that is damaged, in the wrong place or is not functioning correctly, this could cost you.
And again, the most sensible step to take is to tackle the issue on your own terms before you put your place on the market.
The price of repairs and replacements of septic tanks are all measures that could prompt a buyer to offer significantly less than the listing.
Looking to sell your house soon?
If you’re hoping to put your property up for sale and are unsure of the status of your septic tank, it may make sense to seek a professional survey.
As well as putting your mind at ease, it will pre-warn you of any potential stings in the tail from canny operators looking to knock your price down.
To arrange a septic tank system survey or to ask any questions, please get in touch.