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Septic Tanks: Do I need to have planning permission for my septic tank when selling?

Do I need to have planning permission for my septic tank when selling my home? 

When selling your property and if you have your own septic tank you need to make sure you have planning permission from your council. There is a stringent set of regulations that must be followed and requirements that need to be met.

What do you do if you have an older property and you don’t have planning permission for your septic tank?

Hire a reputatable engineer to do the following;

Carry out a Site Suitability Assessment on site which includes digging percolation test holes and carry out a percolation test on site in order to determine the percolation rates of the soil to design the new waste water treatment system.

He will then pepare a planning application for the proposed system and lodge with the council. This process will take 3 months to go through planning.

Once planning is granted a groundwork contractor needs to be brought on board to install the new treatment system and the engineer will oversee and sign off on the septic tank installation.

What can you expect this to cost?

If the septic tank doesn’t need to be replaced then you are paying the engineer to carry out the site assesment, prepare the planning application and lodge the application.  They will also need to supervise and certify and this will be somewhere in the region of up to €2,000.

Are there any other costs?

Yes, you will need to get a price for the hire of a JCB if required and any groundworks. Your engineer can help you with this.

Your engineer will also need to confirm if the existing tank meets regulations or safety standards. Replacement of the septic tank may also be a requirement, but hopefully not.  

Do I need to wait for the planning before I sell my house?

No, once you have a plan in place get your estate agent to put the property on the market and keep them in the loop regarding the progress of planning for the septic tank. Interested buyers should be advised of the situation and full disclosure is recommended. Then, all going well by the time you have a buyer your planning permission should be nearly through. Contracts can be signed subject to planning permission.

I hope this helps.  

Regina Mangan

Liberty Blue Estate Agents 

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