Tenant's rights to private water supply.

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by EX_STAB, Dec 20, 2011.

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  1. I rent a cottage that shares a water supply from a spring with four other properties. There are three landowners.

    No.1 Owns Property A
    No.2 Owns Properties B & C
    No.3 Owns Properties D & E. Mine is Property E, my landlord living at D next door.

    The spring and water tank are on No.2's land, the pipe then passing over No.1's land and serving his property before branching and serving the remaining properties.

    Due to leaks in the system we have now had no regular running water since November 19th, despite a number of half arsed attempts by Landowners 1 & 2 to repair it.

    My Landlord (No.3)'s response has been to clear off to their holiday villa in Spain until 1 and 2 sort it out.

    I can't find anything in the tenancy agreement that specifically refers to my Landlord having an obligation to maintain the water supply. A standard shorthold tenancy and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 S11 refer to water fittings in the property. No particular charge is made for supply of water, it being included in the rent.

    Do I have any redress in common or statute law? Any suggestions welcome. (Yes I know it might be tempting to bang heads together/ up sticks and leave/ etc etc but something more practical and legal would be helpful. :) )
  2. All five of you chip in and get it sorted? 1/5 of cost each?

    Do land owners 1 and 2 get paid for the service?
  3. I don't see it is a tenant's responsibility to maintain something he doesn't own. I don't mind putting a bit of time and effort in and have already done so but I'm sure it must be the responsibility of the three Land owners (Who I think should all chip in and just get it sorted professionally- trouble is they are all tight as a duck's arse - i.e watertight - which is more than the pipes are..... :/ )
  4. Phone the council. I think they treat water as a public health issue so they will fix it then bill your landlord.
  5. I know for a fact if someone were to report a leak to the water board, they WILL come out to investigate, they will confirm that you have a leak on your property and that as you are wasting their precious commodity you now have 3 weeks to get it sorted, OR they will sort it out and send you the bill.

    Happened to us when we moved in years ago, Id have thought water companys will have got stricter if anything. Good luck, and I dont think a tennant should pay to repair a landlords property? Indirectly via rent yes, but not in addition to rent.

  6. It's a private water supply, nothing to do with the water company.
  7. You sure about that?
  8. From the Landlord and tenant Act 1985:

    Landlords' and tenants' repairing obligations in Assured Shorthold Tenancies
  9. Just realised sorry, then you to consider sabotaging everything so nobody gets anything, then seek legal advice.
  10. If you were supplied by a water board then properties 1 and 2 (Assuming these both have leaks?) would be liable for all costs regardless. It is based upon the property the leak is on being liable rather than who it supplies so your landlord has no obligation in that case, you being supplied by a spring complicates matters though as I fail to see how they can charge unless it is specifically for the maintenance of a service.

    If you are paying your landlord for water then between the owners there must be some form of agreement about the supply which I would imagine would make them liable as above.

    If not then I would presume they have no legal obligation to maintain a service to your property.

    If you're in absolute desperation, DIY capable and on good terms with No. 2 is there anyway way you can run a insulated MDPE pipe overground to yours as a temporary measure?
  11. Surely anyone renting a property would expect the gas/electricity and water to work and be fit for purpose?
  12. Apart from the spring being involved this is a fairly common issue where you have several properties being supplied from one stop tap. Usually whoever is on the end houses shits out whilst the ones with the leak on refuse to pay as they are getting water.
  13. Common problems with renting

    Your issue is with your landlord. It's his responsibility to provide the water otherwise your cottage isn't fit for habitation. What agreement he has with the other landlords isn't your problem - unless he hasn't got a formal agreement with them for the supply and distribution of water in which case he may be obliged to evict you.

    Merry Xmas.
  14. Who are they? This is a private water supply, no they involved.

    To the OP, any chance of drilling your own well? Had it done in my garden cost about £500 all up including pump.

    As it hasn't got really cold yet it might be an option?
  15. Whether an outside authority will get involved will depend on whether the system is licensable for abstraction purposes. Under normal circumstances the non-licensed limit is 400 gallons/day. While pure domestic use for five small properties is probably going to be less than this amount, if the water is available for external use, e.g. through a hose pipe, it could vastly exceed that limit - a hose pipe typically runs at about 4 gallons per minute.

    If the system is leaking, that 4 gallons per minute could be happening all day, which will be of concern to the Environment Agency. From the description of the attitude to getting the leaks resolved, it could be that the abstraction is neither metered nor licensed. Can of worms, anyone?

    But that's not EX_STAB's problem as it's not his property. Nor can he install a well, for the same reason.
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