The 2011 Private Sewer Transportation Regulation provided that all previously private sewers and side effluents were transferred to regional sewer companies. As a result, all private sewers so far have been made public. The other possibility is for the seller to give the buyer liability insurance in order to protect himself against the financial losses caused by the construction of the property via a public sewer. This is the fastest and cheapest option, but whether insurance is available or not depends on the circumstances of each case. When private sewers were transferred in 2011, the majority of private sewers and sewers in England and Wales were transferred to the public. Thousands of kilometres of pipes – the repair and maintenance of which are responsible for by the owners (often without their knowledge) – were the responsibility of the water companies. While this was undoubtedly good news for homeowners, the construction of these sewers by their former owners created a legal grey area. Each company in the water sector has its own construction policy above or near public sewers. For Severn Trent Water, if a homeowner wants to build in the immediate vicinity of an existing public sewer, they will have gone through one of two processes. Until the late 1990s, they reportedly entered into a construction agreement with Severn Trent Water defining both their rights and those of the water company.
All work with new foundations, foundations, piles or cellars are subject to the authorization of the on-site water company. As of October 2011, the majority of previously private sewers and sewers were transferred to public property for repair and maintenance by the local water company. If the winter garden was built before July 1, 2011, an explicit building permit or an approved building right is required and a building permit may be required. This becomes more of a problem if you are acting for a commercial lender. How can you satisfy a commercial lender where a search for water and drainage shows that a property has been built on top of a public sewer and that there is no evidence of superstructure authorization, that there is no risk of a legal bogeyman entering the land, digging up the ground to access public sewers and not repairing the damage? In situations where a private sewer has been built before moving to the ownership of a sanitation company, a building permit a posteriori is not required. Under these conditions, a real estate owner whose property was built before the transfer of sewers from a private canal to a public sewer is certain of the obligations of the legal croque-mort to repair the damage caused. It is almost impossible to obtain information from the water authority to confirm whether there should have been a building permit or whether the sewer channel was previously private and transferred as a result of the Transfer of Private Sewer Regulations 2011. This makes it difficult to satisfy a commercial lender that goes beyond approval. A commercial lender must be satisfied that in a situation where a sewer bogeyman needs access to a sewer under a lot, the work does not affect the value of the property and the security of the bank and that there must be some certainty as to the liability of a legal croque-mort to compensate for the damage caused in the absence of a formal construction agreement.
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