Tenant's rights to private water supply.

#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
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?
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
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.

It's a private water supply, nothing to do with the water company.
 
#8
From the Landlord and tenant Act 1985:

The Act states that where a short lease of less then seven years or periodic tenancy is in place then the landlord is responsible:

(a) to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,

(b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity, and

(c) to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water .

(Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act, 1985)


Landlords' and tenants' repairing obligations in Assured Shorthold Tenancies
 
#10
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..... :/ )
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?
 
#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
Your landlord must provide the services which are reasonably required by you. These services include the supply of gas, electricity and water.
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
Well,
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.
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.
 
#16
Well,
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.
Is there a ******* echo in here? Piss off, you ****.
 
#17
To the OP, any chance of drilling your own well? Had it done in my garden cost about £500 all up including pump.

£500 for a borehole? How deep was that, how was it drilled (percussion or rotary type?) and who drilled it? Is the water drinkable?
I've never heard of a borehole that didn't cost less than £3,000 or so.

Ex-Stab; why did it start leaking? Metal pipes? Lead or steel? Have all the sections been leak tested, or is the leak confined to one stretch?

If all the pipes are similarly leaking, I can't see any fiix other than a trench, MDPE blue pipe and loads of money, proportional to the distances involved. I think the short term answer is a bowser or trailer. It's going to take some time to do the work and lots of time for all the landowners to bicker and squabble about who pays what. You can get pipes lined but I don't know the costs compared to replacement and doubt it would be cheaper in this case.
 
#18
£500 for a borehole? How deep was that, how was it drilled (percussion or rotary type?) and who drilled it? Is the water drinkable?
I've never heard of a borehole that didn't cost less than £3,000 or so.
7 metres of 1[SUB]1/4[/SUB]" pipe, tried the 100mm first off but couldn't get deep enough, used something that looked like a small pneumatic drill to ram the pipes down.


Water level sits at 4m so I can use a gravity pump (got one from Gardena).

Don't know if it is drinkable as I haven't had it tested yet, use it for flushing the downstairs bog and watering the garden.

As for the cost don't forget I am in Germany and the guy more than likely did it on the "black" - was a company found on one of those handyman auction sites.
 
#19
I have no experience of bore holes and the EA side of things but from what you have written it does seem to be a can of worms.

I have just re-read E_S original post and noticed something I missed which is quite important - you say you have had no regular water so I presume you have intermittent supply? How irregular is the supply and does it affect all supply to the property (Upstairs/Downstairs/Shower/etc)? Is it 100% confirmed there are leaks along the supply? Is there a pump installed or is the gravity fed pressure enough?

You may have some pretty minor leaks but that could be enough to cause an issue with pressure to your property but this is all dependant on the lay out TBH. The minimum a water company can supply to your door is 1 bar as this is what is generally required to operate boilers.
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Top