Q&As

What enquirers can solicitors make to sellers when the local search confirms that there are sustainable drainage systems features within a boundary of a property?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/04/2018

The following Environment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What enquirers can solicitors make to sellers when the local search confirms that there are sustainable drainage systems features within a boundary of a property?
  • Sustainable drainage systems (SuDs)
  • Solicitor’s responsibilities
  • SuDs considerations in property transactions
  • SuDS enquiries
  • Other possible SuDs information where SuDs features are present
  • Flooding enquiries

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDs)

For information about sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), what they are, why they are needed, types, implications for adoption and maintenance, SuDS guidance, and legal and policy framework, see Practice Note: Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS).

Solicitor’s responsibilities

Solicitors have a duty to exercise reasonable skill and care in progressing the legal aspects of their client’s residential or property transaction. This includes helping clients make a legally informed decision as to whether to buy or develop a site or property which may require the construction and long-term maintenance of a SuDS system. For more information, see the practical guidance note for solicitors prepared by John Bates, Old Square Chambers, on The Role Of Sustainable Drainage Systems. Solicitors should also follow the good practice guidance set out in the Law Society’s practice note on flood risk.

SuDs considerations in property transactions

SuDS issues to consider in property transactions include (note this is not an exhaustive list):

  1. design and installation—the design and installation of SuDS can have significant time and cost implications for developers. SuDS can take up a large portion of the site area

  2. environmental issues—flooding and contamination issues should be considered when designing, installing and maintaining SuDS

  3. maintenance—ongoing maintenance requirements, including the upkeep of the SuDS, landscape and mechanical components, as well as inspections, can place financial obligation

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