Tenant Responsibility for Clogged Drains

Rental Property Tenancy is typically responsible for any cost associated with a tenant’s activity. A clogged drain pipe, toilet, or sewer pipe is generally considered due to a tenant’s activity.

It’s not hard for us to know what causes most clogs as the process of unclogging a pipe is typically to pull the culprit out of the pipe. So we often see, 1st hand what was the cause.

Unveiling Tenant Accountability for Clogged Drains

The most common things we come across as a Philadelphia Property Management Company numbered in order are:

  1. Flushed body wipes: The packaging of baby wipes, or personal body wipes, often states they are flushable; but plumbers, property owners, and property managers disagree. In fact, the City of Philadelphia has made several attempts to get Philadelphians to stop flushing these products and the havoc they cause regarding sewer management.
  2. Feminine hygiene products: These also are a very common cause of clogged pipes our management company comes across.
  3. Hair in drains: Tenants are responsible for cleaning their own hair from drains. Often we fix slow tub and sink drains.

As a property management company, we have seen a great many things flushed down toilets and put down drains and garbage disposals, but the above certainly makes up 90% of what we see.

Get Answers of all related Questions: Rental Tenant FAQ

You Have a Clogged Drain. Now What?

Prevention is certainly what’s required in a rental just as it is in any home, but clogged drains can happen. If you have a slow or clogged drain, you are required to let us know immediately. Very small, inexpensive problems can quickly become very big, very expensive problems. A slow drain, that goes unreported can clog, cause a flood, damage drywall, create mold, etc.

We will send our vendor to come fix the problem and bill you the cost. Our vendors are chosen because we feel they are the best solution. They tend to work fast, work well, and tend to be the least expensive solution. A clogged drain caught in time doesn’t necessarily mean a large bill.

We Don’t Always Bill the Tenants for Clogged Pipes

For the most part, clogged pipes are considered a rental tenant’s responsibility; but there are occasional exceptions. It’s important for a rental tenant to understand that as property managers we want tenants to pay for items that are considered associated with a tenant’s activities and for property owners to pay for those items associated with the property itself.

When we send a 3rd party repair person to execute a repair, if the result of the visit leads us to believe the repair was not required due to the current tenant’s activities; then we would not charge the tenant.

If we felt the clog was because of an issue with the property itself or if we felt it was a result of a previous tenant, then we would likely not bill the current tenant.