Services to the property-the important questions which arise

Image source: O’Reilly Oakstown

Buying a property? If you are one of the most important questions you and your solicitor will need to be concerned about will concern services to the property.

The most important services catering to the property will be

  1. Water and
  2. Sewerage.

Is the water supply by private well or is it connected to mains water or is it part of a local group water scheme? In rural areas you will almost certainly be obliged to have your own well or be part of a group scheme.

In a town or city, you will probably be connected to mains water which is the responsibility of Irish Water now.

How is the sewerage dealt with? Connection to the mains or by private septic tank or one of the modern biocycle waste disposal systems. If you intend replacing or upgrading the existing system after you buy make enquiries beforehand that the ground is suitable and there is sufficient space for your new system.

There may also be planning permission considerations, so you need to obtain some advice from an architect or surveyor before you commit.

In addition to the services to the property you need to satisfy yourself as to the legal access to the property. Is the road abutting the property in charge of the local authority? If not, what is the situation as to maintenance of the access road? Is there a legal entitlement to use this road, for example a right of way? If there is, is it registered with Land Registry?


You will never find the perfect property, there will always be some element of compromise between what you want and what is available. However, fundamentals such as access to the property and the services servicing the property are not areas that you should be treating as unimportant or things that can be sorted out later.

These are critical things to be concerned about and should not be overlooked if you are at risk of falling in love with a property.

Your solicitor will be making enquiries on your behalf and will obtain pre contract information from the vendors’ solicitor regarding services. Nevertheless, it is advisable you satisfy yourself and one of the best ways is to have a structural survey carried out prior to going sale agreed and entering into the contract to purchase.