One question our team gets asked frequently is in regards to blocked drain responsibility, and who it would fall to in certain types of property and ownerships. As you can imagine, the answers are not always the same – they can be as different as the situation that calls for repairs or work.

For example, if the drains are your responsibility, then you would have to pay for blocked drains to get cleared and any repairs required undertaken. Should the drain be the responsibility of a local water authority, then you are spared the expense because it would fall onto them. With that in mind, you can see why it is crucial to know for sure.

Property Types Explained

Assuming the property in question is a detached house with no shared drainage system, the homeowner will be responsible for any clogs or repair work up to the property boundary. The boundary is typically the end of the garden space.

The local water authorities will have responsibility for all blockages and repairs for the main sewer system and lateral drains. If your home is terraced or semi-detached, the drain could be shared with your neighbour. In that scenario, the local water authority will be responsible for the shared and lateral drains. You are only responsible for drains on your property that are not shared.

If you currently live in a block of flats or an apartment complex, blocked drain problems or repair work will be the responsibility of the management company – up to the point where the boundaries of the property end. From that point, the local authorities will then have the responsibility.

Knowing What Drain System You Have

There are a few ways to discover what kind of system and responsibility you have if you are unsure. You can contact your local water authority to determine if your blocked drain falls into a shared drain.

If it is shared, then they will come out and fix the problem. If it falls into your responsibility, you need to contact a drain contractor in Manchester to professionally fix the problem. If someone tells you a different story, they may not be aware of the government’s stance on the responsibility of shared drains and how local water authorities are responsible for lateral drains – not the homeowners.

As lateral drains carry wastewater away from your home, it sits outside your property under public pavements or roads. Lateral drains were once the homeowners responsibility, but that all changed back in 2011.

We hope that clears up the confusion about who is responsible for your blocked drains in Manchester. If you need to know more, contact our team for further clarification.