So, the drains are blocked and your tenant calls you to fix the problem. While you know you know you have responsibilities as a landlord, is a blocked drain one of them? The answer to this question will depend on a few factors. But, it is likely that you will have to act on this problem and as quickly as you can.
What Should I Do When the Drains are Blocked?
First of all, if you are called to a property and discover the drains are blocked, do not panic. This happens more than you realise. But, you should be quick to do something about it before it gets worse. The best thing you can do is choose a drain unblocking service in London. A professional team will visit the property and see find out what the problem is. They can then choose the best plan of action to unblock the drains and get everything back to normal.
What Could Block a Drain?
There are a number of reasons why a drain might be blocked. It is a lot more common than you think. For example, simple things that someone is putting down the drain in the property could cause a blockage. Let’s take a closer look.
Grease, Oil and Fat
Some people do not realise that there are liquids you should not be putting down drains. They have the ability to cause a blockage and this is something that nobody wants. In particular, you do not want to put grease, oil or fat down a drain. They are going to turn sticky and when they move down the drain, they are going to get stuck to the pipes. This means that eventually, no other liquids are going to be able to move down the pipes.
A lot of materials can end up down the pipes over time. This can be anything from nappies to soap. All they have in common is that they are going to cause a blockage and stop water from moving down the pipes. It is recommended to keep all foreign objects away from the drains.
Leaves and Outdoor Debris
During the autumn and winter, it is common for there to be leaves and debris lying around outside. These things are capable of causing blockages too. It is even possible for tree roots to crack open pipes and cause blockages that are going to affect your system.
What are My Responsibilities?
First of all, let’s think about the tenancy agreement you have. It is unlikely that you have created a certain clause for the drains. After all, it is not possible to cover every eventuality in a tenancy agreement. So, this is not going to help you for figuring out your responsibility as a landlord. Instead, you have to think about how the blockage may have occurred and this can determine the responsibility.
As a landlord, you will be aware that there is extensive legislation that you have to know. In particular, you will want to be familiar with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. You will find that section 11 is relevant when we are talking about blocked drains. Namely, it is your responsibility to make sure that the property you have and rent out is well maintained. In other words, you need to make sure that all of the drainage and plumbing is suitable for having a tenant and it is looked after. This includes before they move in, as well as throughout their tenancy.
If there is a tenant in your property and a blockage occurs, they are going to inform you about it. It will be your duty to make sure that the problem is dealt with in a timely manner. This includes unblocking the drain, finding the cause of the problem and repairing any damage that occurs to the property.
Things to Consider
It is important to remember that a tenant has signed an agreement that states they are responsible for the property during their stay. Indeed, the tenants are going to be the ones that are using the plumbing and putting things down the drains. So, it is expected that the tenants are being responsible and not putting anything down the pipes that they should not be.
In other words, tenants do need to be careful and responsible. If an investigation is carried out to find that they have blocked the drains with something, it may be possible to receive damages from that tenant. After all, it may cause damage to your property and it will cost you money to have the drains unblocked.