Are Blocked or Built-up Drains a Landlord Issue or a Tenant Issue?
Blocked drains can be confusing because in different circumstances it can be either the tenants, landlords or local councils’ responsibility to pay for repairs and maintenance. Generally, a landlord is responsible for ensuring a property is fit to live
in and in safe state of repair and the tenant is responsible for maintaining a property and keeping it clean and free from damage. The local council is responsible for paying for any plumbing issue that occurs over the property boundary. But, as we know, not everything runs perfectly, and accidents do happen – this is when it becomes hard to determine who pays for what.
Plumbing Mishaps For Tenants
If you are a tenant and any plumbing mishap occurs, you should always try and call your landlord first. Plumbing repairs fall under two categories; emergency repairs and general maintenance. According to the Residential Tenancies Act, emergency repairs include; a burst water service or serious water leak, burst water pipes, flooding and a broken water heater. If an emergency plumbing repair is needed and
the tenant has tried to contact the landlord, the tenant is within their rights to arrange a licensed plumber to carry out the repairs up to the value of two weeks rent – landlords should reimburse the tenants for the cost of the repair within seven days. However, if the emergency plumbing repair was caused by the tenant’s negligence (flushing items that shouldn’t be flushed), the landlord may not be liable to pay for the plumbing service.
The most common causes of a blocked drain include;
- Hair and food fats
- Wet wipes and other sanitary products
- Damage from wild weather
- Tree roots damaging pipes
Don't Ignore Drainage Problems as a Tenant or Landlord
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, you should never ignore drainage problems as they can quickly grow into a much bigger problem and pose health risks for anyone living in the house. Aside from obvious plumbing emergencies such as overflowing drains, other signs of a blocked drain could be slow-draining water and weird smells in the kitchen and bathroom.
Jetset Plumbing has over 10 years’ experience helping both tenants and landlords. Our plumbers can quickly assess the property and the plumbing issue and determine which party will be responsible for paying to fix the plumbing issue. For landlords, we also offer services that involve checking and clearing any built-up pipes before a new tenancy begins to ensure that you will not be liable further down the track if any plumbing issues were to occur due to the property not being properly maintained.