November Professional Ponderings

November Professional Ponderings


There’s no doubting that the housing market has been and remains driven by positive thinking. For those that take account of the sustained low interest rates offered by lenders and an acceptance where selling property is concerned, that the market is price sensitive, then going to the market is a good decision and successful transactions are still being achieved. In recent months we have concluded sales on all styles and types of residential properties across a diverse range, from terrace cottages to large detached character homes including former farms and in the rare case where a multi agent approach has been involved we have beaten the competition to stake our claim with some justifiable pride.

Some recent examples of additional support to our vendors and landlords, have reinstated our belief that we always advocate doing the right thing for our clients and attempt to go the extra mile to make things happen. For example, we have recently resolved issues on access challenges with added support from our Planning & Development team to help keep a property sale on track. In this instance the outcome had restored the route (quite literally) and this has created a positive effect through a chain of properties with buyers and sellers now heading forwards once more on their journeys to a new way of life. This is significant, especially when all other agents involved had feared the worst. Not so with Bletsoes, this is why we are a trusted brand and our depth of experience within the firm provides an added level of service for our clients.

Our Estate Agency is supported in this way with a high level of skills and dedication. None more exemplified that those of our lettings team with the incredibly diligent Teresa Mutton now managing the lettings operation with great efficiency and the welcome addition to the team of Lesley Barn, adding further quality to our services to Landlords and Tenants alike.

New directives for Landlords and their responsibilities have been applied in stages this year with more legislation to follow in 2020 including Electrical Safety certification and new regulations for Septic Tanks in 2020 which will require any septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water drain, to be replaced or upgraded with a treatment plant or ground infiltration.

In addition if you are considering selling your property before 1st January 2020 and your property has a septic tank that discharges directly to a surface water drain, then the responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of sale.

The reason for this change in regulations is to address the concerns that waste water is polluting watercourses and typically the owner will be expected to replace within a year, although this will be agreed on a case-by-case basis.

Options Available to Comply with New Septic Tank Regulations

  • Install a drainage field or soakaway system - this will take the waste water from your septic tank, and disperse it safely into the ground without causing pollution. If you choose to do this, it must be a minimum of 10m from a watercourse, 50m from a water abstraction point, and 15m from a building.
  • Swap your septic tank for a sewage treatment plant - sewage treatment plants produce a cleaner form of water, and it's considered clean enough to discharge straight to a watercourse.
  • Connect to the mains sewer- where available.

Please note:

You can apply for a permit for an existing or new discharge to a surface water from a septic tank. A permit is only granted in exceptional circumstances. Contact the Environment Agency to discuss.


If you’re planning to use a septic tank conversion unit to upgrade an existing septic tank discharging to a surface water contact the Environment Agency to check it meets the required standard. You will be asked to provide evidence that it will treat to the equivalent standard as a sewage treatment plant. You will still need to apply for a permit.


Craig Berry

Estate Agency Manager



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