A blocked drain can be a real headache, particularly if it’s a recurring issue.  If you’re suffering with drainage issues at your home or place of work, you’re probably wondering who is responsible for clearing blocked drains.  The answer depends on several factors, such as the location and type of the drain, and whereabouts the blockage itself lies.

We’ve put together some information to help you figure out whether your difficult drains are your problem, or someone else’s!

Where is the blocked pipe located?

This part is fairly straightforward.  Generally speaking, if a blocked wastewater pipe is on your property, it’s your responsibility.  In this case, send SM Drains a message and we’ll head right over and unblock it for you.

We can also repair damage to any drains, so if it’s a fault in the pipe that’s causing the issue, we’ve got you covered.

On the other hand, if the problem is a blocked or damaged lateral drain, then unblocking and repairing the drain should be the responsibility of your local water company.

Underground industrial wastewater river flowing in round sewer tunnel Manchester

What’s the definition of a lateral drain?

A lateral drain is one that falls outside your property boundary and connects your drains to the main sewer network.  Lateral drains are not your responsibility.  If you suspect that a lateral drain is blocked or damaged, give your local water company a call.

Who is responsible for clearing blocked sewers?

This is where things could get a little more complicated.

Firstly, public sewers are the ones that your whole street uses, and that don’t fall inside your property boundary.  These are the water company’s responsibility.

If the sewer is on your property, and there’s only your household that uses it, that’s solely your responsibility.

Lastly, if it’s on your property, but your neighbour’s wastewater also flows through the sewer, you should try to come to an arrangement about sharing the costs.  If you’re not on the best terms with your neighbours, or they refuse to split the bill, you should contact the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) through your local council.  The EHO will have experience of this type of issue.  They will hopefully be able to help you to reach an agreement with your neighbours.

Is my landlord responsible for clearing blocked drains?

You’ll usually find the answer to this question in your tenancy agreement.  If there’s a problem with the maintenance of external drains that fall within the property boundary, you’ll usually find that these are the landlord’s responsibility.

Minor blockages that occur inside the property, such as a shower drain being blocked with hair, are your responsibility as the tenant.

If, however, you’re experiencing recurrent blockages, this is probably indicative of a bigger problem.  Get in touch with your landlord, as issues like this are their responsibility.

It’s best to keep your landlord informed of any work you perform on your drains.  This is the case whether you do it yourself or involve a maintenance company.  This way, they can see that you’re taking good care of the property.  Also if there are ongoing issues with the drains, they’ll be aware there has been a problem for a while.

Drain Unblocking Services Manchester

If, after reading this post, you’ve concluded that the drainage issues you’re experiencing are your responsibility, you’ve come to the right place.  SM Drains can unblock or repair your drains quickly and efficiently, using the latest high-pressure drain jetting technology and equipment. Just send us a message or give us a call today on 07751 139514.