Plumbing Problems in Rented Homes

When you are the homeowner and you live in your own home, you should have a good understanding of how your plumbing system has been maintained over the years. After all, you and your family are the ones living in the house.

As the homeowner, hopefully, you have taught your family, guests or roommates how to properly take care of the plumbing. For example, you don’t flush cat litter or paper towels down the toilet, and you don’t pour grease down the kitchen drain.

But what if you rent your property out? Or, what if you’re renting your home? Whether you rent your home out to tenants, or if you’re a new tenant, you don’t exactly know how well the plumbing has been maintained while it’s been rented out.

Plumbing Concerns for Tenants

If you’re a tenant, it’s your responsibility to understand how to properly maintain a home’s plumbing system. Typically, if there’s a minor issue, such as a leaky faucet or a clogged toilet, it’s often the tenant’s responsibility to pay for minor plumbing repairs.

But when it’s a bigger issue, such as a broken garbage disposal or a water heater that needs replacing, usually it’s the landlord’s duty to cover these costs and to take care of the issue quickly.

Once in a while, a tenant will move into a home and they will take the best care of their plumbing. However, the toilet will continue clogging or the kitchen sink will get backed up for no obvious reason, and no amount of plunging will fix the issue.

While on the surface it may seem like a minor repair, or like it’s the fault of the tenant, a further inspection may reveal the main sewer line clog (toilets), tree roots that are clogging the plumbing system, or years of grease and sludge that’s accumulated in the kitchen sink pipes.

In the above cases, the tenant should not be liable for the plumbing repairs because they resulted from natural occurrences or from years of use and abuse.

Residential Leases and Plumbing

Often, residential leases will address how plumbing issues will be resolved if they arise. Some landlords demand that a tenant pay $50 or $60 towards any plumbing repairs, while other landlords will willingly repair any plumbing issues without assessing a fee.

If you are considering entering a residential lease as the landlord or tenant, we advise agreeing to a provision that outlines how plumbing problems will be resolved.

Do you need a Kansas City plumber for a rental property? If so, contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. to schedule a service call!

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