We are hoping to buy some land on a farm in West Wales on which we intend to build. There are no mains drains and the new house will feed into an existing septic tank which does not form part of our land, although the existing farm is quite happy for us to use it. My concern is whether someone in the future could stop us using it. Can I protect our continuing use of the tank?
If the septic tank is situated on some other part of the farm which is owned by the seller of the plot then, provided you are properly advised by a specialist property lawyer, the necessary rights can be secured at the time the plot is bought.
You will need to obtain rights of drainage to the septic tank across the land retained by the farmer. These rights will include the right to access the farmer’s land for future maintenance and repair of your pipeline in return for your share of the future costs of maintaining, repairing and empting the tank.
If the farmer is also the owner of the land on which the septic tank is sited there should be no justification for any additional payment to the farmer for these rights.
If the tank is sited on a third party’s land then a separate Deed of Easement will be required and you will need to negotiate this with the neighbouring owner for which a fee may be payable.