Drain Back Up - Laminate Floor Repair?

3 Replies

Fellow landlords,

I'm looking for your real world experience and valuable input.

My first financially significant problem has struck. My tenant flushed a swiffer sweeper pad and clogged the main drain to my rental property It is a two story property. The drain backed up and downstairs toilet overflowed with what smelled like sewage water. The plumber was called in and removed the blockage and the restoration company has provided fans, dehumidifiers, and microbial compound to kill the bacteria associated with the overflowing fluids.

My downstairs floor is laminate wood flooring. The restoration company is recommending that the floor be torn up and walls be opened to allow for more direct contact of the microbial compound.

Estimated floor replacement is upwards of $3500 (conservative, I think) plus the dry wall work.

I'm comforted and relieved to find that my lease holds the tenant responsible for such an event. I have a $2200 security deposit in my hands. Hardly enough, I know, lesson learned.

My questions for you smarter more experienced landlords:

How far do you press a tenant in this situation?

Is it customary to request the security deposit be replaced given the severity of the event?

The tenant is requesting contact information to the restoration company, should I provide it?

The bp community's input would be greatly appreciated.

First thing to do is find out if they have renters insurance. A lot of people aren't aware that a a landlord can file a claim against the tenants insurance company in cases of negligence.

did you file an insurance claim? If so the insurance company will most likely handle the collections from he tenant or hopefully their renters insurance. I wouldn't have a problem giving he tenant the contractors number in this scenario.

hi Jacob, sorry to hear you had this problem...if its any consolation i think you can take a little bit of comfort in the fact that you know the tenant flushed something that they shouldn't have and exactly what it is / who did it. When i had a similar problem, there was no sign of whether something improper was flushed that caused the backup or which tenant did it (and there were at least 3 tenants that could have caused the issue). So no one could be made accountable for the repairs/cleanup except myself.

In the end, i had to spread the cost to everyone through rent increases to try to recover the damages over time, but it was a huge hit to the cashflow of the property.

Good luck with your cleanup!

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