Who pays for clogged plumbing

Tuesday we received calls from tenants in both sides of our duplex. The toilets were backing up into the bathtubs and would no longer flush. We called a plumber and paid $320 for them to unclog the pipes. Saturday morning we get another call that plumbing is backed up again. We paid a $450 premium for a weekend plumber who “removed heavy accumulation of feminine products from line.”One tenant is a bit older. The other is a young mom with teenage daughter. Should we charge both tenants even though we suspect the younger tenant is the one causing the issue?

8 thoughts on “Who pays for clogged plumbing”

  1. We have a plumbing addendum on our lease. Tenant agrees not to flush anything other than tp or human waste. Only liquids go down the drain and oil/grease is not a liquid. If tenant clogs toilet or drains, they pay for the plumber.

  2. Did you tell your tenants not to flush feminine products? Is it in your lease? Otherwise I feel like it’s not fair or reasonable to charge them at all. I’ve lived plenty of places where it was ok and safe to flush tampons (to my knowledge). As a young woman in my 20s it had never occurred to me not to. However, this happened to me and my landlord charged me and I thought it was bullshit then and I still do. It wasn’t in the lease and some people don’t know. However, if it IS in the lease and they did it anyway, I’d say you can go for the full amount. Although if it was both units then how do you prove who did it?

  3. The plumber obviously wasn’t finished with the job if you continue to have problems within such a short time period.
    I don’t think you should have been charged for the second call out. If they had done their job in the first place, they would’ve had the entire line clean.

  4. Ensure you get it in writing that the plumber is finding feminine products in the waste lines. Send a letter to both tenants warning them not to flush anything but toilet paper will result in a direct back charge should the pipes clog again with this.

    • Doesn’t matter what the lease says (unless you’re excluding tenant damage for some strange reason). Tenant caused the issue (proving which might be tricky, but seems pretty obvious), and tenant should pay. Its no different than if a tenant put a hole through a wall or door, or busted a window, you’d expect tenant to pay in those cases, this is no different.

  5. I attached a sheet to my lease of sewer/septic do’s and don’t. They initial the sheet at signing. stating only toilet paper is to go down the drain if diapers, feminine products, flushable wipes, cigarette buts are found in the pipe from a clog they pay the $100 fee. I also own a drain snake as tree roots are the usual cause in clay pipe.

  6. I would warn the tenant you think it might be that the next time this happens you will be passing the charge along to them and remind them that flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper is expressly forbidden. And don’t forget to include flushable wipes in your no flush list.
    Make copies of the bills and send to both tenants with a letter advising them that the plumbing lines have been cleaned – twice. If your lease has any language to address this situation, highlight it and send with the plumbing receipts. Include a letter advising them that tenants are responsible for any clogs to the plumbing. Ask ur plumber where the clog was or if he can figure out what unit it came from. Use a plumber that has a warranty for a call back if possible.

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