Plumbing Maintenance and Repair in Your Rental Property
Who is Responsible for What?
A lease agreement is an important document that helps outline the role of each party to the lease. Making it as detailed as possible is therefore the key to running a successful rental property. This is especially important when it comes to things like responsibility on plumbing repairs and maintenance.
Sure, as a landlord, rental laws compel you to ensure that your property is habitable. However, that responsibility becomes shared from the moment your tenant signs the lease or rental agreement, explains Big Horn Rentals.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about who’s responsible for what when it comes to plumbing maintenance.
But first thing is first.
Why is Plumbing Maintenance Important?
Maintaining plumbing systems is important for many reasons. First, it helps catch problems early before they become large and expensive later. Plumbing maintenance also helps in water conservation and saving on energy bills.
A faulty plumbing part, for example, can not only cause costly issues later, but can also end up wasting money in the meantime.
In fact, a faucet that is leaking at the rate of one drip per second can waste the equivalent of 3,000 gallons per year. This is at least according to epa.gov. This is equal to the amount of water one needs to take about 180 showers.
Maintaining your property’s plumbing system means checking regularly. Everest Mechanical Plumbers are able to identify any problems in their earliest stages and make repairs so they are not able to grow into something much worse, saving you money on repairs in the process.
A Plumbing Maintenance Checklist
The following are some of the things that a plumbing maintenance checklist involves.
- Testing the water pressure
- Maintaining the water heater
- Maintaining the septic system and sewer line
- Drain cleaning
- Examining your toilet tanks
- Checking for leaks
- Inspecting all visible pipes for corrosion
- Cleaning your faucet aerators
- Clearing all your drains and p-traps
With all this information in mind, who’s responsible for what when it comes to plumbing maintenance and repair in your rental property? Well, before answering this, we have to look at certain things first.
Before the Beginning of Tenancy
Before a new tenant signs the lease or rental agreement, the responsibility of repairing and maintaining plumbing issues is solely yours.
As a matter of fact, the Warranty of Habitability Law requires that you ensure your rental property meets all health, safety and building codes before handing the property to the tenant. This may mean:
- Fixing any plumbing leaks
- Replacing showers or seals on bathtubs and checking for signs of dampness
- Checking for corrosion on metal pipes
- Removing any obstructions from gutters and drains – drain cleaning
- Making sure the radiators are functioning as they should
Once a Tenant Signs the Lease Agreement
Once keys have been exchanged, it becomes your responsibility to furnish them with all the information they may need in case of an emergency.
For example, the emergency number of a plumber near me to call as well as instructions on what to do in case of a problem.
The instructions you provide your tenant could include:
- Take note of what you flush down the toilet. Avoid flushing down objects like cotton swabs or non-paper products. These are not biodegradable and will only clog the toilet. You may also want to advice your tenants against flushing diapers and feminine hygiene products as well.
- Avoid putting greasy, starchy foods, or hard objects such as bones in the garbage disposal.
- Remove hair from sink and shower drains regularly.
- Clean the laundry lint filters regularly.
You may also want to let your tenant know of the potential damages that may result if they fail to follow the said instructions.
Responsibility for Repairs
The responsibility for repairs depends on the reason. If the fault results from normal wear and tear, then the responsibility for repair falls solely on you. However, if the damage results from the tenant’s negligence or carelessness, then the responsibility lies squarely on the tenant.
Handling Plumbing Maintenance Requests
As a landlord, handling tenant maintenance requests should always be a priority. This is especially true if the requests are emergency ones. Good examples of these include a broken water heater, burst water mains, flooding, and clogged toilets. Usually the best and safest way to handle these types of issues is by using a licensed and certified plumber.
Regardless of the cause, acting fast to fix these issues is important. That’s because they pose direct risks to the prospective tenant’s safety or health.
While you may need to notify your tenant of your intention to fix an issue, that may not be necessary when dealing with an emergency situation.
What to do to Keep Plumbing Issues Minimal
- Always outline the responsibilities of each party regarding plumbing maintenance
- Insure your home against common plumbing issues
- Treat your pipes regularly and maintain a drain cleaner schedule
- Upgrade your vent pipes to better ones if blockages become regular
- Always hire professional services when necessary
Having a properly maintained plumbing system is the best way for landlords to prevent plumbing breakdowns in rental properties. What’s even of equal importance is outlining each party’s responsibility when it comes to plumbing maintenance and repair in the lease agreement.
Everest Mechanical can provide excellent plumbing service that will ensure you enjoy the full benefits of your rental property. We have a team of fully-trained, highly motivated plumbers near you who can assist with any problem. They can inspect every aspect of your plumbing system, including the hard-to-find areas that will usually go unnoticed.