Residential property lawyer David Morgan, a Partner at Higgs & Sons, has said that owners of property with a septic tank must be made aware of the new regulations relating to domestic septic tanks. The regulations were changed in 2010 but owners of existing septic tanks only have until 1st January 2012 to register them with the Environment Agency.
“If you already have ‘Consent to Discharge’ then you do not need to register and the Environment Agency will automatically register the septic tank with exempt status. If it does not qualify for exempt status then the consent will convert into an Environmental Permit. The exempt status or permit could be lost if the conditions of registration are not kept. The conditions principally deal with proper maintenance of the system.”
The new rules are especially important if you are buying or selling a property that has a septic tank. David continues:
“The new regime means that when you sell the property it is not necessary to notify the Environment Agency of the change of ownership provided the septic tank is operated and maintained properly. However, you must give written details to the new owner about the discharge and the conditions that must be met. Also, you must give the new owner any maintenance records.
If you are about to buy a property with a septic tank then you should check that, either the septic tank has already been registered, or get the current owner to register it with exempt status (or get a permit) before exchange of contracts and completion.”
If you want to know more about the regulations visit the Environment Agency’s site here
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