Questions To Ask When Buying A Property With A Septic Tank

buying a property with a septic tank

When buying a property with a septic tank, you can have many questions, or, you may be unsure what questions you should be asking. In fact, some people may be totally daunted and put off by the idea of dealing with a septic tank during a house purchase. However, a septic tank needn’t put you off buying your dream home. Therefore, to make the whole process easier we’ve put together a list of questions you should ask when buying a home with a sewage treatment system in place.

What type of drainage system is installed at the property?

First things first, it’s imperative you find out what type of drainage system is installed at the property.

Once you know the type of system installed you can begin to understand how said system works; for example, where the system drains to, which is crucial when owning a property with independent sewage treatment.

Whether the property has a septic tank, sewage treatment plant, cesspit or soakaway will depend on the amount of maintenance the system needs and how often it will need emptying or servicing. Therefore, you know what you’re committing to before you sign contracts and sign up for independent sewage treatment.

Is the septic tank shared with anyone else?

Now you know what type of sewage system you’re dealing with the next step is to check whether you have full responsibility for the system, or, whether it is shared with a neighbour.

This way you can determine who is responsible for emptying and maintaining the tank, who deals with problems with the drainage system and who pays for the septic tank. In these situations, it can be handy to have a contract drawn up so no disagreements arise over septic tank responsibility. For more information and advice on shared septic tanks, read our blog.

Is the drainage system compliant with the latest regulations?

One of the most important factors when buying a property with a septic tank is to determine whether the drainage system is compliant with the latest regulations.

When selling a property it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the sewage treatment plant or septic tank is fully up to date with the latest legislation before selling their property. Therefore, it’s important checking this to ensure the system is safe and compliant before you exchange.

Where is the drainage system located?

For obvious reasons, i.e. emptying and maintenance, you need to know where your drainage system is located. But, it’s also worth asking this just in case part, or all, of the system is located on someone else’s land or boundary. While this isn’t a problem per se, it’s worth noting what the relationship with this person is like, how service visits work and any problems that have occurred in the past.

Similarly, if you are purchasing a property with someone else’s septic tank located on your land you need to know the neighbour’s and your rights of repair and access to the property or land.

How old is the drainage system?

Septic tanks and sewage treatment plants can last quite a while so don’t be put off if the drainage system is getting on a bit. However, it’s still worth noting the age of the drainage system and checking for any age-related problems.

Is the drainage system well maintained?

Last, but certainly not least, it’s vital that you know whether your septic tank is well maintained. That includes knowing when it was last emptied, inspected and serviced and whether any repair work has been undertaken recently.

This way you know when you next need to carry out your annual empty and is an indicator of the condition of your septic tank. After all, with drainage systems housed underground, issues can be festering without you or the current homeowner knowing.

Septic tank homebuyer’s survey

While not a question per se, it’s critical that you conduct a thorough investigation of a property’s drainage system before you purchase. This can help to answer all of the above questions for you and take the stress out of purchasing a property with a septic tank.

At Proseptic, we offer home buyer’s and pre-purchase surveys in the South of England to help put your mind at ease and ensure your drainage system doesn’t put the dampeners on buying your dream home.

For more information, or to arrange a home buyer’s drainage survey, call our team on 01794 517 770 or complete the form below.

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