Build Over Sewer - Our new purchase and Sydney Water ISSUE

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by twinkletoes, 31st May, 2010.

  1. twinkletoes

    twinkletoes Member

    Joined:
    31st May, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Hi guys,

    I am about to purchase a 20 year old property (approx) in Sydney where the public sewer enters the plot in the corner of the back yard, cuts through the back yard towards the house and under it, out the other side where it picks up the kitchen and toilet etc, then makes its way down the back of everyone elses gardens (after a change of direction) right at the back of their properties (parrallel to their fence line) and well out of their way.

    It is (according to the diagram) a 150mm clay pipe about 1m deep (average).

    The property is sitting on a concrete slab / raft and is brick. The other houses in the short street have all been re-built and made much bigger.

    Through my solicitor we requested a build over sewer certificate of which Sydney Water's reply was that they have absolutely no record of approval of build over sewer although they DO have a diagram stating that the sewer goes under a small portion of the house - obviously supplied by the plumber or builder when the house was built.

    I'm concerned that should I purchase this property, I will be financially liable for any cost on repair should an issue arise with the sewer in terms of the property settling and damaging the clay pipe.

    I'm a builder by trade and have legally and properly redirected small public main sewers in the past (in the UK) however I realise I can't legally do this over here, even if it's inspected as I go.

    Am I financially liable should this building cause issues with the sewer in the future?

    Am I able to get the build-over approved even though it happened years ago and has been in place for approx 20 years?

    Is it mega expensive to re-direct the sewer with a couple of inspection chambers and rodding eyes using an accredited plumber from Syd Water's own list of builders? The run would be about 15 meters long with two change of directions (so 2 inspection chambers, be them brick or plastic)....

    Finally, how will it affect resale value?

    I'm starting to regret even getting involved.......:confused:
     
  2. Propertunity

    Propertunity Real Estate Buyers Agent

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2008
    Messages:
    9,698
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    NSW Central Coast, Sydney, Newcastle and Lower Hunter
    After 20 years you'd have to expect that any settlement of the property would have already occured.

    Unless that 'build-over' certificate can be located - then yes, probably.

    Probably not. Why would anyone want to accept liability retroactively?

    You'd have to ask Sydney Water.

    About the same as it is at the moment - potential buyers wanting to pull-out of the purchase.

    If I were you, I'd be throwing the problem back onto the vendor to come up with the build-over paperwork. In the event that they cannot, I'd be pulling out.
     
  3. twinkletoes

    twinkletoes Member

    Joined:
    31st May, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    OK thanks for your help there - most of the answers I guess I already half knew. As for the certificate - in the event they cannot come up with it, I wonder whether it's feasible to request a drop in purchase price so as to fund some sort of legal re-direction?

    Sydney water are not helpful. They simply don't want to divulge any information and as for redirection of sewer, they told me to check out their list of accredited plumbers of which the first person I called said it's not something that'll be cheap even though if I did it myself materials and digger hire would only cost $3000 max
     
    Last edited: 1st Jun, 2010
  4. Propertunity

    Propertunity Real Estate Buyers Agent

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2008
    Messages:
    9,698
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    NSW Central Coast, Sydney, Newcastle and Lower Hunter
    Which suburb are we talking about here?
    I have some contacts in Sydney Water.
     
  5. willair

    willair xx

    Joined:
    23rd Jan, 2003
    Messages:
    6,850
    Media:
    3
    Location:
    fibro humpy..
    Just tell the agent about the problem,the material factor for this is not that high,council permits ,inspections,time,digger,depending on the block size and plumbing plan it sounds like a normal plumbing layout,all you have to look out for is if you intend to resell this property at some time then you will be left holding the can,either way you are going to have to go through a lic plumber,and the council permits system..good luck willair..