What is a drainage and water enquiry?
A drainage and water enquiry, also known as a CON29DW, was introduced by The Law Society in 2002 and has become a vital part of the conveyancing process. The CON29DW is a report compiled of data from the water and sewerage companies (who are regulated data owners) providing solicitors and potential buyers with important information about the water and sewerage connections of a property.
Do I need one?
Most conveyancing solicitors will request a CON29DW as part of a set of standard searches done on a property, alongside the LLC1 and the CON29. It is recommended by The Law Society that a water and drainage enquiry is undertaken during the conveyancing process to protect home buyers from potential risks and costs in the future. It also provides a clear trail of responsibility back to the provider.
A CON29DW also provides the potential buyer with information that may affect their decision and allow them to renegotiate or to withdraw from the purchase of a property if the report reveals anything unpleasant.
What do they include?
A CON29DW can identify and uncover any problems that may affect the property’s value and future potential expensive maintenance costs. The report can provide information about:
- services for which the property is connected
- charging basis for services to the property
- charges for surface water drainage
- contact details for sewerage and water billing company
- meter location (if applicable)
- adoption agreements
- building over consents
- sewers within the boundary and within 100 feet
- low water pressure
- assessment of water hardness
- information on the risk of internal flooding from overloaded public sewers
- location of the nearest public sewage treatment works
- a copy of the public sewer and water records
Where do you get one?
Your conveyancing solicitor will request a CON29DW report on behalf of their client when looking at a potential property purchase, however, it is easy to obtain one without the use of a solicitor.
A drainage and water search can be obtained directly from the company providing water and sewerage services to the area the property is located. Unfortunately, not all of the water and sewerage companies offer this service.
It is also possible to obtain a CON29DW through an independent search company, who will obtain the report from the water and sewerage company on your behalf.
Most companies will have a variety of packages or discounts available if you are to order more than 1 type of search or service from them. There are also different pricing options available based on whether you want just an electronic copy or an electronic and paper copy.
How long do they take?
The time frame to obtain a CON29DW can vary depending on the provider of the report but a lot of the main water and sewerage companies will provide a standard CON29DW report in up to 5 days, however, some may take between 7-21days.
Some companies offer an ‘Express’ or ‘Premium’ service which will produce a report in 24 hours but may charge an higher fee in order to do so.