What is a Water & Drainage Search?

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Water and drainage search establishes water to and from your property.

A water and drainage search is an essential part of the conveyancing searches that your solicitor will undertake for you when you are buying a property. This will normally done alongside a local search and also an environmental search (other searches may be done dependent upon the area of the country you are buying in – eg mining searches). Here we look at what a water search is, why it is done, how much they cost, and how long they take.

What is a Water & Drainage Search?

A water and drainage search is part of the pre contract investigations undertaken by the buyers solicitor ahead of exchange of contracts.

What does a Water & Drainage Search tell you?

A water and drainage search will:-

  • show whether the property is connected to the mains water
  • show whether the property is connected to the mains sewer
  • provide a map showing water and sewer runs
  • confirm if water is metered
  • may also cover things like water pressure and quality

Who does a Water & Drainage Search?

The buyer’s solicitor will do the water (and other) searches as part of the pre contract ‘title’ investigations.

Where do you get a Water and Drainage Search from?

The buyer’s solicitor will obtain this from the water company local to the property in question. They are often bought through third party search providers – but will always originate from the water company in question.

When is a Water & Drainage Search done?

All searches (including water and drainage) will be done by the buyer’s solicitor fairly early in the conveyancing process. There is an upfront cost to these and once bought there is no way of getting your money back so your solicitor will check with you that you definitely want to press on with buying the house – and therefore you also want to go to the expense of the searches. The searches are usually undertaken after the contract pack has been received from the seller’s solicitor.

How much does a Water & Drainage Search Cost?

The cost of a water and drainage search will vary from one water company to the next. Generally (and currently) they are around £50.

The water and drainage search will include plans showing mains sewers.

How long does a Water & Drainage Search take?

How long a water and drainage search takes will of course be dependent upon the local water company in question. Generally however they are returned to the buyer’s solicitor within a matter of days (not weeks) of being ordered.

Do I have to have a Water & Drainage Search?

If you are taking a mortgage, you have no choice – you MUST have all normal searches including the water and drainage search. This is a rule across the board as part of the rules that surround mortgage lending. Technically, if you are not taking a mortgage you could instruct your solicitor to do away with searches. Most solicitors would ask you to sign some form of waiver if you try to do this! The whole point of searches is to understand what you are buying – and to not ‘buy blind’.

Questions about Water & Drainage Searches?

If you have questions about any searches including water and drainage, please reach out to our expert team of property and conveyancing solicitors.

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