June 20, 2019

Yorkshire Water’s SafeMove warns conveyancers against relying upon insurance to safeguard against drainage and water risks

SafeMove, a trading arm of Yorkshire Water and the official provider of the CON29DW drainage and water enquiry for homebuyers and conveyancers in the Yorkshire region, has given a stark warning to those conveyancers that rely upon the insurance that comes bundled with some other non-official drainage and water reports to compensate for any data omissions or shortfalls. Such a reliance they say, could leave the conveyancer and homeowner open to costly mitigation risks.

Amy Parkinson, Customer Relationship Manager for SafeMove explains: “The official CON29DW is provided by all ten of the English and Welsh drainage and water companies and is compiled of all  information that the water companies know about a property including its’ nearby assets, connection status, water quality and the risks of internal flooding. Data used in the CON29DW gives the full drainage and water picture for a property and uses the actual data that the water companies use to run their daily operations. Questions are approved by The Law Society and the accuracy of responses is underwritten by the Water Companies themselves.”

SafeMove’s warning comes on the back of a recent case which would have cost the homeowner more than £80,000 if they hadn’t had used an official CON29DW during their conveyancing process.

Amy further explains: “During the buying process, the buyer’s solicitor had purchased an official CON29DW report through us as part of their conveyancing search bundle. Nothing of concern was highlighted and the buyer went through the purchase and completion process without incident. However, once they had moved in, the homeowner raised odour concerns with Yorkshire Water who came out to investigate. As they did, they found that the property relied upon a septic tank for its foul sewerage removal as the property was not fully connected to the public network as shown in the CON29DW report their solicitor had purchased.”

This matter was raised with SafeMove and in accordance with the CON29DW guarantee, arrangements were made to connect the homebuyer’s property to the public foul sewage network. The cost of this was borne by Yorkshire Water and as such, the homeowner suffered no financial loss nor had to endure the hassle of having to arrange the work themselves.

Amy continues: “This case illustrates the value in the official CON29DW even though Yorkshire Water’s data about the property’s connection status was found to be incorrect at the time. With other search types, it’s well known that insurance will not cover a liability resulting from incorrect source data and as we have been advised, the £80,000 cost to rectify this situation far exceeds any potential loss in the property’s valuation and would have similarly, not have been covered. As such, had the property owner not chosen an official CON29DW report at the outset, they would have been left with a large bill as well as the inconvenience of having to sort out the issue themselves.”

The CON29DW report is approved by The Law Society and includes  23 drainage and water questions that are answered in full to give the property owner, conveyancer and lender a complete picture of the property’s risk status. Visit www.safe-move.co.uk or www.con29DW.co.uk for more information on the CON29DW. Contact Amy Parkinson on amy.parkinson@yorkshirewater.co.uk if you would like to learn more about the benefits of switching to the official drainage and water search report for your clients.