My tenant keeps clogging drains. Can I bill them for that?

7 Replies

Hello BP community. I'm having issues with the plumbing in one of my properties. The tenant is continuously putting excess food and grease down the drain in the kitchen sink.  I have had to send a plumber out multiple time to correct this issue. Can I bill them for the repairs?

Absolutely.  We've gone out and fixed the problem the first time, our issue was with people not rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.  We then sent them a letter afterwards explaining what they did, why it's wrong, and that we will charge them for the repair next time.

It's worked for us and haven't had to be back out yet.

Hi @Joseph Handy

It depends on how your lease is worded, but hopefully it has something to the effect of tenants are responsible for tenant-caused damages. If so, you absolutely can.  

Just be careful though that they actually let you know about an issue if they are the ones paying for it.  They may avoid letting you know, and it could culminate to something greater.

In future leases, you can add the following clauses:

  • Tenants to repair any damages to interior or exterior walls; electrical or plumbing fixtures, screens, doors and other furnishings due to tenants' causing.
  • To keep sinks, lavatories, and commodes open; provided they are open when the premises are accepted. (Notice of any malfunction must be reported within 5 days of occupancy. Landlord will pay to remove roots from sewer lines.) 

For me it's been bathtubs clogged from long haired females. In all honesty I am not as tough of a LL as many of you on BB, some of these problems I bring on myself being too damm nice.

Yes charge them even if it's not in lease. I rooted out a wash cloth once, and evicted them, but they were month to month. You have to make an example out of this or they will continue their bad behavior.

@Joseph Handy It’s best to have a clause in your lease that specifically addresses this issue so there’s no question about who is responsible for paying. It doesn’t have to be anything complex. For example, my lease states: 

“Tenant shall be charged for repair of drain blockages or stoppages, unless caused by defective plumbing parts or tree roots invading sewer lines.”

Thanks for all of the advice.  My contract does have wording that says the tenant is responsible for damages.  I will draft a letter and send it to them ASAP. 

Originally posted by Account Closed:

For me it's been bathtubs clogged from long haired females. In all honesty I am not as tough of a LL as many of you on BB, some of these problems I bring on myself being too damm nice.

Teach your tenants how to use a Zip-It tool and leave them with a supply.  I have fairly long hair.  In my personal residence i have to pop out the drain screen in the shower, and sweep the inside of the drain with an old toothbrush.  The amount of nasty gunk I get out is gross.   I wrap the gunk in old newspaper and dispose of in the trash.  I have to do this about every six months, but never have to call a plumber. 

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