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Are Tenants Responsible for Fixing Blocked Drains?


When you are renting a home, especially in a big city like Melbourne, you need to be responsible when it comes to its upkeep. This means that while major issues such as the structural integrity of your home are the responsibility of your landlord, you have to be on top of minor problems such as a clog in your plumbing system. After you, you are the one living on the property.

Whose responsibility is a blocked drain?

  • Minor Plumbing Problems

More often than not, a blocked drain is the responsibility of the tenant. Rest assured that when you experience any plumbing problems, you can always call a 24 hour plumber to help you with any plumbing emergency that you may have, including a blocked drain. This can be attributed to the fact that you are the one living within the premises of the property.

  • Communal Area

In case you are living in a flat or apartment where the drains are communal or shared, the tenant should resolve the issue if the blockage falls within the area he is occupying. Nevertheless, if you are still unsure of your responsibilities as a tenant, you can always have a good dialogue with your landlord.

  • Major Plumbing Issue

However, it becomes a different story when the plumbing problem you encounter is a sewer backup. In this case, the responsibility then falls to the landlord or the owner of the property. Not only is this a major plumbing problem, but there is certain paperwork that needs to be processed to coordinate the problem with city officials or the officials regulating the plumbing system in your area.

Just keep in mind that as a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that the property you are renting out is habitable. This is not limited to the overall cleanliness of the place, but it also includes the basic utilities such as electricity and plumbing systems. As soon as your tenant moves in, you still need to be on top of the situation, making sure that your property is in its best living condition. Rest assured that you can always list down each of your responsibilities in an agreement that both you and your tenant need to sign.

Final Word

Plumbing system problems are both the responsibility of the tenant and the landlord. The one who needs to act on it though depends on the severity of the problem. Nevertheless, the key is for tenants and landlords to work well together to ensure the safety of everyone living on the property.