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no fosse septique


Dave&Olive
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trying to find out where our sceptic tank is . after 6 weeks of searching Olive asks one of the locals where it is , reply was there is non in your house just a pipe into the garden under ground .

         when we bought the house it said drainage fosse septique , question is can we make a claim from the english person we bought it from through a french estata agent .

 

              welcome to france

                    Dave and Olive

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The means of drainage etc should have ben in the acte de vente, (contract document) and confirmed by the Notaire with the vendor at the reading of the contract, which you attended?  Have a look at the contract documents and see if a fosse is shown or mentioned, if it is, get back to the Notaire for advice, if it isn't, you should have asked the question when you viewed the property, just as you would have done in the UK
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"...if it isn't, you should have asked the question when you viewed the property, just as you would have done in the UK".

Isn't that just a bit harsh? who thinks to ask where their waste is going when the buy a house in the U.K?

Ron and Olive, I hope the problem resolves itself soon.

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No offence meant Olive but Charlie you must be a town dweller, thousands of people in rural England do not have mains drainage.  Where I lived in the UK we just had water and electricity, no mains gas, no mains drainage even though just 5 miles from one of the biggest expanding towns in the affluent SE. 

 Sometimes one feels that all the questions we would ask in the Uk about a property such as services and council tax band etc go out of the mind when buying in France. 

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I hear what you are saying but I just think that if I was facing the possible prospect of having to pay to have a fosse installed which I didn't expect, to be told after the event what I should have done would make me reach for an even bigger bottle of plonk !

I do think ( as in my own case) you can do a heck of a lot of research and still get your fingers burnt and it's not necessarily your own fault. 

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I agree with Ron.One of the differences in the countryside is that you can't just flush and forget.

I would strongly advise anyone interested in buying a house that is described as having a septic tank to check that it is actually there. I walked away from 2 houses because of this. It's not all that difficult to check but if the agent plays dumb and says they don't know where it is or that it's covered by dense overgrowth - get them to find out or clear the undergrowth or make your excuses and leave (what else might they be trying to hoodwink you with). The modern type of tank that everyone is supposed to have by the end of this year will have 2 inspection hatches at least a foot in diameter and 3 or 4 feet apart and older types will have at least one hatch somewhere even if it is just an old flagstone. Lift the hatches and look inside preferably with a torch and if it doesn't look OK don't pay anything extra for it.

Now back to the OP. Before you start raising any legal actions you're going to have to find out exactly what you have or haven't got. It is very unlikely that the pipe just simply goes into the ground. Unless you have some sort of underground cavern the pipe would have filled and backed up in a very short space of time. There must be something there even if it's just an old cess pit. The only way to find it is to start digging where the pipe comes out the house and follow it to wherever it ends up. Then take photos, plenty of them.

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Most French villages are attempting to get tout a la gout (mains drainage) installed over the next few years. I beleive its one of those nice EU laws that most rural communes will not be able to comply with but do check with your own Mairie before you install a fosse septique as you may be obliged to decommision them, anyway, shortly.

Just to give you an idea, if you do need a fosse septique installed, a new one that complies with the latest legislation is going to be about €4k (unless you have a huge house and thus a large waste requirement). They can fit in the cave, you dont always need vaste ground works.

...and yes for the benefit of anybody about to buy and to echo another poster, ask where it is and how old it is. If it is recent there should be a certificate to accompany it showing that it meets current legislation if not, well then assume some expenditure might be needed.

 

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