NSW No Sewer Diagram

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Simonking, 21st Nov, 2019.

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  1. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    If I understand it correctly, the inclusion of a sewerage service diagram in the contract is a legal requirement in NSW.

    Property 1:

    1 year old. Is part of subdivided land consisting of 4 properties. The original property that was demolished to create these 4 properties is 30 years. The sewer diagram that exists is from the 1990 for the original property. The sewer diagram for the 4 new properties does not exist according to Sydney water.

    Property 2:

    2 year old property in a new housing estate. No sewer diagram exists for this property as advised by Sydney Water. According to the RE agent, it is becoming pretty common these days to not have sewer diagram.

    According to my solicitor, it is better to have sewer diagrams, but not a deal breaker.

    Should I be concerned with the lack of sewer diagrams? And what issues could there potentially be in the future?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jacque

    Jacque Jacque Parker Premium Member

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    Hi @Simonking it is a legal requirement and I'd be definitely wanting to see it.

    See information below taken from NSW Fair Trading, legislation NSW and conveyancing sites.

    There is complex legislation in NSW requiring vendor disclosure in any contract for the sale of residential property. A draft contract must have attached to it the following documents, relating to the land:
    • Planning/zoning certificate (obtainable from local council)
    • drainage diagram plan (obtainable from the authority responsible for water, sewerage and drainage);
    • copy of the title (and, in addition, for strata lots, a copy of the title of the common property) and registered plan (obtainable from the Department of Land & Property Information);
    • copy of any document which burdens the title (easement, restriction on user, covenant) obtainable from the Department of Land & Property Information);
    Failure to attach any of the required documents will mean that the purchaser has the right to rescind the contract and recover the deposit within 14 days of the exchange of the contract.

    See Schedule 1 of the Conveyancing Regs 2017 for what is prescribed and needs to be in a contract of sale here in NSW
    NSW legislation
     
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  3. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    For property 2, Sydney water has confirmed that they do not have the sewer diagrams. Where else can the sewer diagrams be sourced from?

    If I use the sydney water tap in service: https://tap-in.sydneywater.com.au to search for sewer diagrams, many houses in new housing estates do not have sewer diagrams. But they have been sold and people living in it. So the purchasers just ignored the fact that there is no sewer diagrams?
     
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  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    It's not the purchaser's responsibility to source the documents which are to accompany the contract.

    You could check on dial before you dig to check if there's sewer at or near the block.

    Is this block in the Sydney water service area?
     
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  5. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    According to my solicitor, the sewer connection is under my driveway.

    This block is under sydney water service. I have checked with them and they said currently no sewer diagram exists for this property and they have confirmed this in writing which is included in the contract. I also checked multiple other properties in the same street and many do not have sewer service diagrams. This house is 2 years old in a new housing estate.
     
  6. Propertunity

    Propertunity Well-Known Member

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    Maybe find out how he discovered this?
     
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    If it is not vacant land (ie no need to connect to the sewer but has a sewer available), there would be a sewer diagram.

    As there is a house built (2 year old estate), plans would have been approved by Sydney Water and the plumber is obliged to submit the sewer diagram to Sydney Water as well as having undertaken the mandatory inspections.

    If you don't put this back on the vendor's solicitor, you will be responsible to obtain the certification when you come to sell.
     
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  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    @Simonking - In this case (see picture below), there was a subdivsion for lots 1 & 2. Lot 2 still benefitted from an existing sewer connection via lot 1 but could quite easily connect to the branch adjacent to the manhole. That sewer diagram was undated (but dates back to the 1970s as it was in imperial measurements).

    The current sewer diagram shows there is now a house on Lot 2 which connects to the 6" inlet adjoining the manhole.

    The sewer is not located on the block itself but on the land adjacent.

    upload_2019-11-25_9-5-30.png
     
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  9. bmc

    bmc Well-Known Member

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    Dial Before You Dig will show the location of the authorities assets but not your private connections.

    the plumber or developer probably hasn't lodged the final compliance documents,

    or
    (from Sydney Water)
    A CoC must be completed by a licensed plumber or drainer for all work. A CoC confirms the work complies with the Act, Regulation, Plumbing Code of Australia and standards (AS/NZS 3500) and identifies the plumber or drainer as the responsible person for that work. .
    https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/.../371456/Sewer_service_diagram_requirments.pdf

    The CoC will also remain available on the Fair Trading website for instances where no inspections were required. Three copies of the CoC are required - one copy for Fair Trading, one for the customer and one for the plumber or drainer's records. Download the Certificate of Compliance (PDF, 367.08 KB) for the licensee, owner and regulator.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26th Nov, 2019
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  10. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    Thanks guys. I will make the necessary inquiries as per your suggestions.

    In the event that a sewer diagram cannot be sourced for this property before the cooling of period expires, would getting a plumbing inspection done on the property help? Can the plumber find out if there are any issues with the sewer?
     
  11. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    This will be a requisition by the solicitor
     
  12. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    He got this from the sewer location print.

    The property does not have a sewer service diagram which shows the internal sewer setup.
     
  13. Propertunity

    Propertunity Well-Known Member

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    No
     
  14. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    what is the worst case scenario if I buy this property without a sewer diagram?

    Are there plumbers who can inspect the property and certify the sewer is setup correctly?

    Or can I pay Sydney water to inspect the property and certify the sewer system?
     
  15. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    So you may have to demolish the driveway to access the sewer?
     
  16. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    The sewer goes underneath the driveway and connects to the sewer line on the street.

    According to my solicitor, if there was an issue with the sewer line (e.g blockage), Sydney water may need to dig up the driveway to fix it. This is not common and they repair the driveway when the work is done.
     
  17. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The issue remains, has the sewer been inspected by Sydney Water, does it meet their standards and will it back up dumping litres of sewage (solid matter and blackwater) in your bathroom, ensuite and laundry making the house slightly unpleasant?

    If the property was recently constructed, then you should be getting the home warranty insurance documents in the contract so you would have the builder's details.
     
  18. Terry_w

    Terry_w Lawyer, Tax Adviser and Mortgage broker in Sydney Business Member

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    I don't advise on property law but believe non inclusion doesn't mean the contract is invalid, but it does mean that then purchaser can rescind if a required document is missing from the contract. There is a time limit though.

    So you could think of this as a free cooling off period.
     
  19. Simonking

    Simonking Member

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    Yes we have the home warranty insurance documents.

    Is there no one who will inspect the sewer system, map it out and certify that it is built to standards now?

    Can I not get Sydney Water to inspect the sewer now?
     
  20. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Why do you want to be put to the expense of getting certification on a property that you don't own?

    The works have an open ticket from the plumber that completed the works. No one else can certify what the original plumber has done as there is no design. If the plumber relinquishes his ticket, then the new plumber can investigate and certify the works.

    Anyone certifying may need to excavate to expose the works, ascertain the falls, location of junctions, risers, backflow prevention, venting, waste points etc. Then prepare a design and bear the risk that the works are compliant.
     
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