A blocked sewerage system is a tenant’s worst nightmare. You will want the landlord to act very quickly to resolve the issue. The landlord has statutory obligations to keep the sewerage system in proper working order. There are steps you can take if the landlord does not meet his or her obligations.


Landlord’s Responsibilities

This is the landlord’s issue to deal with, unless the problem was caused by a tenant’s misuse. Your landlord is responsible for clearing blocked sewers and repairing external waste pipes. This is because external pipes are part of the exterior and structure of the property (which are the landlord’s responsibility under the Landlord and Tenants Act 1985). Sewerage systems are the landlord’s responsibility because they are an installation for sanitation under the same Act.

If the sewerage issues are outside the property, they are the responsibility of the sewerage company. Ensure they are contacted so they can do the repairs.


What to Do

Contact your landlord immediately and inform him or her of the problem. Follow this up with a written notice so there is a record of the communication. The landlord should endeavour to carry out repairs as soon as possible. If the repairs are not done, contact the local authority and they will send an inspector. Failing to repair sewerage systems may be a statutory nuisance and the council can order repairs to be done. This is likely if the sewerage issue is hazardous to your health and is affecting other people who live nearby. You as the tenant can alternatively begin a private civil claim against the landlord for statutory nuisance.

If your landlord has failed to carry out repairs to a sewerage system, we can advise you of the next steps to take and whether it may be worthwhile to make a statutory nuisance claim. If you do decide to make this claim we can prepare the documentation and represent you in the proceedings.

To talk to us about sewerage issues, please call our Bayswater office on freephone 0800 524 4709 to make an appointment or fill in our contact form.

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