Landlord changing agreement.

  • We have been in our house almost 10 years now, today I got a letter providing some updated contact numbers etc in another paragraph the letter states that drain blockages and the emptying of septic tanks is the responsibility of the tenant, this has always been done in the past by the landlord's agents.

    It doesn't actually say in our agreement who's meant to do it but it does say something along the lines of If it is deemed to be the tenant's fault they may be charged for the unblocking of drains.


    Well wouldn't you know it, right now I seem to have a blocked, possibly collapsed drain and the septic tank pump is only working intermittently, resulting in a back up of waste clearly seen when lifting the inspection cover, it has been like this for a few months now, it was reported last year as we thought the tank needed emptying but were told it was the pump.


    The letter we got does not ask for a signature of agreement it is just stating the fact so to speak.

    Does anybody know where we stand with this please?

    Cheers

  • do you have a fixed term contract? For instance, would you get a new contract every one or two years?

    It's not usual to change a tenancy agreement mid term, without the written, signed agreement of both the tenant and landlord.

  • Do you pay water rates? We rented a farm house and shared the septic tank with another farm workers cottage. The farm workers cottage remained unoccupied for a few years. We were responsible for the emptying of the tank during this time, we were also responsible for paying water rates on our property, but not the sewerage element and qualified for reduced water rates.


    We paid a farmer to spread the tank contents on a field, but thats probably prohibited these days.

    Surely if your responsible for paying it, it will be written somewhere in your rent agreement, probably under services.

    Odd that you have not been billed for it before now, unless they overlooked it.

  • Do you pay water rates? We rented a farm house and shared the septic tank with another farm workers cottage. The farm workers cottage remained unoccupied for a few years. We were responsible for the emptying of the tank during this time, we were also responsible for paying water rates on our property, but not the sewerage element and qualified for reduced water rates.


    We paid a farmer to spread the tank contents on a field, but thats probably prohibited these days.

    Surely if your responsible for paying it, it will be written somewhere in your rent agreement, probably under services.

    Odd that you have not been billed for it before now, unless they overlooked it.

    Yes we pay for supply only - £25 per month (ish) normally the estate staff have come around with a tractor and tanker trailer, and I believe ours too was spread onto the estate farmland, maybe there has been a change in the law as you say, and that is why they are trying to pass on the costs.

  • The pipework and septic tank and associated plant are the exclusive responsibility of the landlord.

    The only costs theyre entitled to pass on are the emptying costs (usual twice a year is the recommended frequency) and any damage/blockage caused by improper use by tenants ie stuffing disposable baby nappies or foreign objects.

    Speak to the council environmental health department.If the drinking water or sewage systems are not satisfactory they can take enforcement action against the landlord.

    My local council did exactly that at my friends home on a private landed estate.The landlord was forced to update both at their cost.

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  • So, I called the agents today to queerie this letter.

    The response was favourable, she said that it was a generic letter to all tenants and that I wasn't being singled out for anything.

    I replied that I didn't care about that and that the fact that we have never had to pay it before, changes to agreement etc.

    So she went on to say that if we hand't payed before we probably would not have to in the future and that she would check our agreement, I pointed out that it doesn't mention anything other than if we are at fault.

    She is going to look into it but it seems we will be ok.

    And after speaking to a couple of neighbours they have said they arn't going to pay and will tell the agents so.

    Thank you all for your input on this.

  • My friends landlords agent tried this on,ended up landlords having to replace the piped borehole water with piped mains supply and replace the cracked leaking sewer pipes.

    It cost thousands so im guessing they wished they hadnt bothered trying it on.


    The most they can pass on is the septic tank emptying divided equally between the tenants on the system and cost of any emergency blockage clearing or damage done by tenants.

  • Thats awful Wurzel.Possibly the landlord knew collapsed drains, which are his property, need fixing and hes trying to off load costs onto you?.Environmental health urgently i would think?You cant have sewage backing up and your loos loss mean a house is unfit for habitation.Water rates should be less if the water board dont dispose of foul waste.The landlord always emptied ours but we were charged which we thought fair as the water board would of,but he always maintained the structure.That should be very clear in your contract,but pump failure is failure of his fixed structure.If our sewer pipe breaks its the landlords property to fix.I really hope you get this sorted soon.:)