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It’s 8 AM - you wake up to prepare breakfast and find that the kitchen sink is pooled with water

The very thought of it sends a chill down the spine, doesn’t it? Out of all the plumbing woes, a blocked drain is undoubtedly a nightmare for every homeowner. 

Now, the first thing that you do is call your landlord to inform him of the unpleasant situation. But the landlord tells you that it isn’t their responsibility to fix the drain; instead, it’s yours. Later you end up quarrelling and disconnecting the call. 

Indeed, it’s a real struggle to figure out whose responsibility is to fix a blocked drain. But don’t worry; we’ve prepared this guide to walk you through all the details.

So, let’s get started!

Tell-Tale Signs Of A Blocked Drain

Not to deny, no homeowner pays attention to drains unless they start acting up. However, the worst part about blocked drains is the signs aren’t always obvious. And by the time you figure out you have a blockage, the chances are that they have caused severe structural damage. 

We’ve mentioned a few tell-tale signs to help you detect a blocked drain and save you from further troubles. 

Running Water In Silver Kitchen Sink

1. Gurgling Sound

Indeed, the first sign that indicates a blockage in the drain is strange gurgling sounds from the sink occurring when water flows into the drain. More often than not, these sounds result from the air trapped within the system being pushed up. So, if you hear any noise from your bathroom or kitchen sink, there’s probably a blockage.

2. Unpleasant Smell

It’s uncommon for a normal household to smell like a rotten egg, so if you sniff an unpleasant and foul odour in your home, it is a sign of a blocked drain. This usually happens when food or other organic matter lodges and begins to rot in the drain, and the issue is further aggravated by running water. 

3. Slow Drainage

At times, it might happen that you did the dishes half an hour ago, but the water is still accumulated in the sink. If you’ve noticed that the water is draining slowly more than once, it indicates a blocked drain. 

Also, you must keep in mind that if it happens with your kitchen sink, the issue is likely in the kitchen drain. However, if water is draining slowly from all fixtures, there could be a blockage in the main drain. 

Fixing A Blocked Drain: When Is It Landlord’s Responsibility?

If you’re a landlord leasing property to someone, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the premise is well-maintained and in good condition. 

Of course, you’ve checked the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, carpets and rugs and other outdoor spaces, and they are in good condition. But, what about the drainage and the plumbing system? Let us tell you that checking them is also the landlord’s responsibility. So, before renting your apartment to someone else, don’t forget to examine all aspects of your home. 

However, the landlord’s responsibility doesn’t end here; when a tenant moves into your apartment, they’ll have to be in the picture. That’s because he will have to ensure that the condition of his apartment is structurally sound and free from all kinds of damage, including plumbing systems and fixtures. 

Supposedly, you’re a tenant and leased an apartment. Initially, everything appears to be fine, but suddenly, the bathroom sink decides to act up. Or let’s say that emergency issues arise, such as the bursting of a pipe, leaking faucet or flooding. 

In such cases, the first thing you should do is to take out your tenancy agreement and see if any of these issues are listed there or not. If you find them listed on the agreement, then your landlord is liable to fix all such issues

If such issues aren’t listed on the agreement, who’s liable for fixing them? The landlord is likely to be responsible for resolving such severe problems on their property. 

For instance, flooding can damage the apartment's furniture, decor, and supplies. So, if serious leakage, burst pipes or other plumbing issues occur, you should inform your landlord about it without any delay.

Using Drain Snake To Clear Outside Tiled Drain

Repairing A Blocked Drain: When Is It A Tenant’s Responsibility? 

When it comes to maintenance, a tenant is also responsible for keeping the apartment and its fixtures clean and in pristine condition. 

Surely, the landlord is responsible for major repairs, but it’s a tenant’s responsibility to care for all the minor repairs. For instance, if you accidentally damage a fixture of the apartment, you’ll have to get it repaired, not the landlord. 

Now, fixing a blocked drain is your landlord’s responsibility for most parts, but you can be liable for getting it repaired on certain grounds. For example, if you have a habit of thrusting food down the kitchen drain or throwing stuff in the toilet sink, it’s your responsibility to get the drain repaired. We all know that such items can lead to clogs, and they aren’t meant to go down the drain. 

Paying For Repairing A Blocked Drain

This depends on the contract you sign with your landlord for most parts. However, in case there’s a blockage due to negligence, then most likely, the landlord is responsible for repairing the drain. 

Let’s say that before renting the house to you, there was a blocked drain in the apartment, and the landlord did not examine the space thoroughly. Now, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, for you’ll have to prove this point to your landlord for him to bear the expense. Only when you provide evidence about this will you convince him to pay for the repairs. 

Knowing Your Rights As A Tenant: Blocked Drains

Knowing the tell-tale signs of a blocked drain, we are sure you wouldn’t face issues identifying a blockage. However, make sure you get the drain fixed as soon as possible, or it will aggravate the problem and cause severe damage to your property. 

The landlord is responsible for fixing a blocked drain, but the tenant is liable for fixing the damage caused in some cases. It depends upon the clause stated on the contract that the two parties have signed for the lease. 

If you are experiencing a blocked drain now and live in Melbourne, please feel free to give our team a call. We can assist you with unclogging the drain and liaising with real estate agents or landlords. All our services are provided with a tax invoice, and we are available 24/7 for any plumbing emergencies.

Before calling it a day, here’s a last piece of advice - keep the channels of communication open with your landlord as it will build a healthy relationship between you two. Until next time!

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