Dear Diary #10: What Is A Drainage & Water Search Anyways? Do I Really Need It?

Drainage & Water Search

Dear Diary,

It seems as though it’s inevitable that when I put one fire out, some idiot is quick to spark-up a ciggy in a no-naked flame zone and start another.

Christmas has come and gone, and we’ve even managed to roll through January like it didn’t even exist. It’s the start of February and I’ve officially been waiting three weeks for the drainage and water search to complete.

Apparently it’s a simple process, and generally speaking, waiting around three weeks is excessive, but here I bloody am!

Great, sounds like I’ve been lumbered with a rotund jackass that’s eager to drag their heels!

On a serious note, what the hell is a drainage and water search anyways, and do I really need them to buy a house?

I think I’m starting to crumble, or at least show signs of fatigue. As I said before, I’m not a fan of relying on other people, it always leads to disappointment. And delays. Lots of delays! The sad facts of life never seem to be proved wrong.

My estate agent has been chasing me almost every day, enquiring what the delay is and when we should expect an update. The pressure is truly on for the drainage & water search results.

Oddly, he always seems disappointed when I give him the same response. I don’t know what else to tell ‘ya, mate. I could make something up if you’re bored of the same old? Would that make you feel better?

I understand his concerns though, because the seller is getting anxious – they’ve been ready to exchange for over a month. The drainage & water search seems to be a real bottleneck.

The truth is though, I don’t even know what the delay is, I’m just the messenger. My conveyancing solicitor doesn’t really explain the reasons, they just notify me that there is a delay with the search.

That is, of course, when my conveyancer solicitor can be bothered to communicate. My rumbling and reliable gut tells me they’re the ones causing the delay.

Yup, here comes another rant.

The conveyancing firm I chose has proven to be less than satisfactory. In fact, they’re worthless donkeys and I would never use them again. Real talk!

At the beginning of this journey I stressed the importance of picking the right conveyancing solicitor, because the wrong choice can be notoriously painful, which commonly result in poor communication, delays disorganisation, and a bunch of other irritating crap.

Sadly, even while being aware of the dangers, I stepped on the minefield. I’m man enough to admit it, even though I hate myself for it! But on the bright side, I can confirm that all the consequences of picking the wrong conveyancing solicitor are bitterly true. Buyer beware (even though being aware did me no good)!

I’ve been trying to harass my solicitor every day for updates. “Trying” being the operative word. How can I possibly harass someone properly when they can’t be contacted? No one ever gets back to me even when the secretary assures me they will.

I don’t know if it’s specifically a trait of this industry, but from my very limited experience, there seems to be a whole heap of idiots in it that seem to despise good ol’ fashioned communication.

Drainage & Water Search explained

Since I have time and I want to make my Dear Diary moments both informative and educational, I have decided to find out more details about drainage & water searches.

Or perhaps I just want to know why a process that usually takes a few days (so I’m told) is taking so long. Maybe if I understand the process a little better I’ll be able to appreciate why, where and how the delays could be occurring. Maybe then I’ll stop cursing under my breath and calling everyone responsible stupid assholes.

Probably not, though.

What is a Drainage & Water Search?

This is a search of the water authority’s records to check details of water and sewerage assets under and around the property. The information is provided by the various local water companies in England and Wales

The documented report is called CON29DW, and it’s designed to help protect consumers by providing vital information during the early stages of purchasing a house. It has been a trusted part of the conveyancing process for many years and legal professionals have come to rely on it as part of their due diligence.

The search search contain the following information:

  • Public sewer maps
  • Foul drainage and surface water
  • Public adoption of sewers and lateral drains
  • Public sewers within the boundary of the property
  • Public sewers near to the property
  • Building over a public sewer, disposal main or drain
  • Map of the waterworks i.e. water pipes, waste pipes and drains
  • Adoption of water mains and service pipes
  • Sewerage and water undertakers
  • Connection to mains water supply i.e. public or private
  • Confirmation of how the property is billed for water and wastewater charges

Do I need a Drainage & Water search when buying a property?

The drainage and water search is NOT a legal requirement. However, the search is considered mandatory, and should always be undertaken in every conveyancing transaction when buying a property, because it can reveal potential problems.

It’s important to ensure whoever is responsible for your conveyancing to instruct the searches in order to avoid nasty sewer or water shocks in your new home.

It’s worth noting that some conveyancers will include the cost of the search within their fee fixed-fee while others will charge an additional fee for it.

How long does a Drainage And Water search typically take?

The report is obtained from the local water companies. It simply is a case either filling in an online form, or requesting it via postal methods. It really shouldn’t take long at all, which leaves me to wonder why there is a delay in my case…

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Paul Thomas 10th July, 2019 @ 11:52

The problem is not with the solicitors, who they use, how much they are paid, etc, etc. Its really simple - its the local water companies. I work for a solicitors and the conveyancing department have literally dozens of completions held up because the water companies can't be arsed to provide simple reports that really should take - and you said it - no time at all. Every other search comes in really quickly but Water search drags on. So vent your anger at the water companies and their can't be bothered attitude.

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