It’s important that any plumbing problem you encounter is fixed as expediently as possible to avoid a costly plumbing disaster.
However, as a renter there are some limits to your ability to address these problems yourself.
Contact your landlord about plumbing problems. Many renters neglect to inform their landlord about minor and major plumbing problems because they are afraid the landlord will say that it’s the renter’s fault. Keep in mind that your landlord is legally required to keep their rental property in livable condition. Plumbing problems caused by normal use are also the landlord’s responsibility. Nevertheless, you’ll need to get permission from your landlord before hiring a plumber.
Read your lease. You will want to call your landlord about a backed-up septic tank or in-wall leak. But you might be able to address some minor problems such as a leaky faucet or slow-running drain by yourself. It’s important to check your lease before doing anything major like snaking a drain or even pouring clog-freeing chemicals down the drain. These actions may be forbidden according to your rental agreement.
Prevent clogs. The number-one plumbing issue encountered by both renters and homeowners is clogged drains. To avoid the whole hassle of dealing with landlords and plumbers, it’s best to prevent these clogs from occurring in the first place. Hair is the number one culprit for clogged shower drains. Be sure to install a hair-catcher if one’s not already in place. And never pour grease or oil down the kitchen sink. If you cause a clog with this kind of negligence, you will probably have to pay for it yourself!
Take legal action, if necessary. If your landlord refuses to fix a major plumbing problem, or the landlord’s neglect of a plumbing issue causes you property damage or injury, consider talking to a lawyer. You might be able to force the landlord to pay for a plumber or for your damages if you use the proper legal channels. Start your research by looking into your state’s rent withholding and repair-and-deduct laws.
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Pipe Gripes is written & published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling