Is Your Landlord Responsible for Fixing A Blocked Drain?

Whether a blocked drain is the tenant or landlord’s responsibility is often a contentious issue. Most importantly, whose responsibility depends entirely on the circumstance and so there is no simple answer to the question. That is why we have written a blog to help you decipher whether it is your or the other party’s responsibility to fix any drainage issues.

Who Is Responsible for Fixing a Blocked Drain – Landlord or Tenant?

Tenancy Agreements

Tenancy agreements tend to clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant. The tenant is usually responsible for minor repairs to the décor and any appliances they own. Meanwhile, the landlord is typically responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, pipes, walls, roof, and so on. Similarly, they are in charge of providing the supply of gas, water, and electricity.

However, if the tenant breaks anything through misuse or carelessness, the landlord is no longer responsible. In this case, the landlord will likely make the tenant pay the full repair costs.

When Is the Tenant Responsible?

Therefore, if the tenant caused a blockage through carelessness or misuse, it is their responsibility to pay to repair the blocked drain. People tend to do damage without realising it; in fact, the damage is normally done when the wrong things are being put down the drain.

Cooking oil, grease, and fats are the biggest culprits for blocking your drain. As they build up over time – first coating your pipe and then coagulating – they can very easily clog your kitchen sink drain completely. Similarly, baby wipes and sanitary towels are simply not designed to break down in wastewater systems.

When Is the Landlord Responsible?

However, a blocked drain could also be indicative of a more serious structural problem with the property. The most likely external causes include damaged pipes, collapsed pipes, and tree roots in the drain. In such circumstances, it will not be the tenant’s responsibility to pay for repairs. These external causes are usually the result of poor craftsmanship or simply wear and tear.

It is important to note that blocked drains or sewers outside of the property’s boundaries – such as those on the road or pavement – will not be either party’s responsibility; instead, it is normally your utility company who is held responsible for fixing it.

How Do I Identify the Issue?

The easiest way to identify the root of the problem is by calling up your local drainage expert to come and assess your drains and pipes. The best option is to get a CCTV drainage survey, a process that involves feeding a small camera down into your pipework and carrying out a full inspection of your entire drainage system.

If you would like us to inspect your property, contact First Response Drainage today on 0800 043 4680 to arrange your CCTV drain survey. Our team of specialist engineers are also on-hand to make sure that your drains are in top condition and carry out any repairs that need doing.