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Tenant or Landlord: Who is Responsible for Clogged Drains?

Drain blockages can be confusing due to the fact that they can be caused due to multiple reasons. Everyone, from property owners to municipal governments, is responsible for drainage maintenance, but who is accountable for what? Is the landlord or the tenant responsible for a clogged toilet in a rental property? Is a sewer clog the fault of Sydney Water or the homeowner? Please read the full post to find the various obligations and who pays the cost in certain scenarios.

Common Reasons for Blocked Drains

External blockages: Dirt, leaves, and plant detritus are all examples of this. External drain obstructions are frequently caused by a build-up of dirt, leaves, and plants. The simplest approach to avoid this issue is to keep debris out of drain openings and cover them.

Internal blockages: Grease and fat poured down the drain after cooking is without a doubt the most prevalent cause of clogged drains! This bad practise is widespread, and it is doing damage on the pipes and sewage systems underneath our homes.

Blocked Drains: Tenant or Landlord

According to Fair Trading NSW, landlords are required to ensure that the property is in a fair state of repair prior to a tenant moving in, taking into account the property’s age and the amount of rent paid. Additionally, landlords are responsible for maintaining rented premises throughout the term of the lease. Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for taking reasonable steps to avoid damage or maintenance difficulties.

Under the law, repairs are classified as either urgent (emergency) or non-emergency (general maintenance). According to the NSW tenant factsheet, landlords are responsible for emergency repairs, including clogged toilets. When necessary repairs are required immediately, the renter must notify the landlord – ideally in writing. If the landlord/agent is unavailable or unwilling to make the necessary repairs, the tenant can arrange for them to be made. In most cases, the tenant will be able to get a reimbursement as long as it is not tenant’s fault and the landlord shows no urgency in repairs.

Is tenant or landlord responsible for clogged drain?

Both the landlord and tenant can be help responsible for clogged drains depending on various circumstances.  If the landlord can prove that the blocked drain was caused by the tenants, the landlord may avoid liability. If a clogged toilet is the result of the tenant flushing tampons, wet wipes, or other materials that should not be flushed, the landlord may argue that the obstruction was the result of the tenant’s negligence.

Alternatively, if a blockage occurs shortly after new tenants move in, it may be difficult to establish liability, as clogged drains are frequently the result of a build-up of debris over time. In any case, it is customary for the landlord to cover the cost of a blocked toilet or drain.

Can landlord charge you for blocked drains?

Yes! if they are able to prove that the block drain occurred because of your fault and was not caused by debris built over time.

Pipe Relining Explained by Dial Up Plumbing Services

Who Pays for Blocked Sewer Drains: Landlord or Tenant?

While water utilities are legally responsible for maintaining sewage mains. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining wastewater pipes (also known as sewer pipes) within their property’s boundaries. As a general rule, property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any pipe located upstream of the point of connection to Sydney Water’s sewer mains. These are known as ‘private wastewater pipes.’

A sewage choke occurs when a section of a wastewater pipe becomes clogged. They arise when material, such as tree roots, enters the pipe and obstructs its operation. A sewer clog in private wastewater lines is the homeowner’s responsibility. Also, they must pay for the repair by a professional plumber. Sydney Water is responsible for sewer chokes found in public wastewater pipes, and property owners should immediately phone 13 30 90 to report any difficulties.

Are you unsure where the blockage lies?

If you are unsure of the location of the blockage, we can use CCTV drain inspection cameras to find it and determine who is responsible. If the authorities determine that there is an issue, the property owner may be paid for any plumbing fees and expenditures incurred by completing the Sewer choke claim form and attaching an invoice from a professional plumber.

Local Council’s responsilibtiy

The local council will not resolve a blocked drain on its own. But they do have the right to direct someone else to do so. This is because maintaining drains are council’s responsibility as well. If there are complaints that a property owner is not carrying out maintenance or repairs responsibly, the council can be contacted. They will issue issues and notices to the property owner requiring them to fix broken pipes and unclog drains.

These notifications are posted to keep the property and its surroundings healthy and safe. As a result, a licenced plumber should be contacted immediately to fix the issues. Additionally, the property owner will be responsible for all associated costs, such as labour.

Sydney’s #1 in Blocked Drain Repairs

Dial Up Plumbing Services is available 24 hours a day to fix any blocked drain issues. Our 24-hour service is available throughout Sydney, and we can deal with blocked drains in any situation. We ensure that our recordable and trustable services will be the greatest option for anyone who requires immediate assistance with a blocked drain. Contact us at (02) 8999 6125 today to get your blocked drains, sewer, sinks, fixed today.

Ben Harb

Owner/ Manager

Ben Harb is a highly skilled and experienced professional in the plumbing industry, with a particular focus on blocked drains and pipe relining. A qualified licensed plumber as well as a pipe relining specialist who can tackle an extensive range of plumbing issues.

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