Should I Buy a House with A Septic Tank?

By September 13, 2018Blog

A lot of people dream of countryside living, whether it’s a renovated farmhouse or a cosy cottage, but what many people don’t realise is that a remote location can mean that a septic tank is a necessity. This is because remote properties aren’t connected to the main sewer lines, so a tank basically holds your waste, and will therefore need to be emptied and cleaned regularly, which if you’re not used to it can feel like kind of a hassle. So, should you consider buying a property if it means dealing with a septic tank?

Check the system

If you are considering buying a place with a septic tank, there are a few things to check before you put in an offer:

  • Maintenance – has the system been well maintained, regularly emptied and cleaned? If not, this could mean future problems
  • Costs – how much will regular maintenance cost? Get copies of former invoices if possible, or get some quotes
  • Plans – try to get a proper plan of the system so you know where the pipework runs
  • Access – is the tank located on your land? Some tanks can be placed in difficult locations, which makes them difficult to empty

By checking these simple things before you buy, you can avoid having to pull out of the sale down the line or finding out your septic tank is going to need expensive repairs.

Get a survey

A general house survey will cover lots of different things, but most house surveyors are not septic tank experts, and may only look at the most basic checks. That’s why it’s worth calling a local septic tank specialist to take a look at the property. Most sellers won’t mind if you bring in someone to take a look, and usually this will involve draining the tank to do a proper inspection, ensuring that it’s in top condition so that you aren’t left with expensive repairs or maintenance costs. The price of this service outweighs the unexpected costs that can come with buying a house that needs a whole new tank.

Shared tanks

Some properties have drainage systems that are shared with a neighbour, and it’s important to know what the processes are in terms of emptying, maintenance and cost. If you are sharing a tank, then it’s best to have a formal agreement in place with the neighbours to avoid confusion and conflicts down the line, and this could be done as part of the conveyancing process.


Although a septic tank sounds like a bit of a hassle, it’s actually a fairly easy thing to look after, as long as you use a reputable firm. Find out how often the current owners have their tank emptied, whether it’s every few months or years, and then mark your calendars to match their schedule, ensuring that it doesn’t get too full.

If you’ve bought a house with a septic tank, contact J.H. Willis & Son of Holme Farm, Ince, Near Chester, Cheshire, CH2 4NR for cleaning and maintenance services. Simply call 0151 356 0351 to find out more and get a quote.