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Clogged drain pipe by Joy (PA) on February 10, 2012 @23:31

                              
My lease states that I am responsible for plumbing repairs and my kitchen sink has been badly clogged for months. However, my landlord refuses to pay the entire costs and wants me to shoulder the burden of repairing the sink. However, I spoke with with a Tenant rights lawyer and was informed that the landlord is responsible to for the plumbing repairs. However, the lease says the occupant is responsible... Are both the lease and the lawyer right? Or am I wrong?
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Re: Clogged drain pipe by Anonymous on February 10, 2012 @23:40 [ Reply ]
The lawyer is right as many landlords try to push their responsibly onto the tenant. Put your request in writing to the landlord and if not fix, call the Tenants lawyer again for how to file a complaint with code inforcement.
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Anonymous on February 11, 2012 @00:50 [ Reply ]
It depends on what and why the sink clog is happening. If there is something fundamentally wrong with the pipes within the home itself, such as a leaking pipe, then the landlord should repair. If the pipes burst because the tenant didn't pay the heating bill and utilities got shut off in winter, and the pipes froze, then the tenant would be liable for the cost of repairs. However, if it's a sink that is clogged, most likely you, as the tenant, can be responsible to pay to have it unclogged. Sinks do not clog unless something was put down the drain that would clog it, such as grease, large food particles, hair, cloth, paper, etc. Why should the landlord foot the bill for something a tenant caused with their actions, whether accidental or willful negligence? Arrange for a plumber to come out and unclog the drain or at least investigate what is causing the issue. If the plumber finds that it's caused by user, i.e. your, actions, then take responsibility for the cost of the repair and be more careful in the future. If the plumber determines it's not because of something you have done or could have done, then have him contact the landlord or give you a written estimate for repair to explain the problem is not user related.
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Anonymous on February 11, 2012 @01:53 [ Reply ]
The landlord is responsible for ensuring the plumbing is working. If They determine YOU caused the clog then the landlord will give you the bill. Best way to avoid this, don't clog the drain.
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Katiekate (New York) on February 11, 2012 @03:40 [ Reply ]
At the time of the move in...I demonstrate all the drains are open and flowing freely.

The lease states that keeping the drains open and flowing freely is the responsibility of the tenant. Further, at the time of move out the drains will all be checked..and clogged drain at that time will be opened at tenants' expense.

If my drains don't work because of a problem in the pipes itself..then it is my responsibility..but..failing to keep a filter on the washing machine discharge and causing a clog is not my problem. putting diapers down a toilet..not my problem. putting garbage down the sink (no garbage disposal)..not my problem.


The landlord is not responsible to follow behind you and clean up the problems you create.

So, what does the plumber say is the problem?
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Anonymous on February 11, 2012 @03:47 [ Reply ]
Then split the bill in half, and regain the use of the sink.
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Anonymous on February 11, 2012 @03:49 [ Reply ]
A tenant's rights lawyer is giving you bad advice. Is he going to find you alternative housing when the landlord decides he can not afford to rent to you anymore?
Re: Clogged drain pipe by A.T.SF (CA) on February 11, 2012 @08:53 [ Reply ]
I just had this happen to me here in San Francisco. The tenants put nearly every kind of kitchen scrap, vegetable and plate discards through the garbage disposal. After 7 months it created a huge back up in the unit below. Long story short a 3 foot section of cast iron pipe had to be removed and replaced; as well as all of the interior line for that unit. The plumber was amazed because he services my buildings semi annually for drainage and flow. The bill was as huge as the clog the tenant caused. My lease too, says that costs of repairs that are not standard wear and tear are the responsibility of the tenant. That includes those things that are intentional or unintentional by either the tenant of guests of the tenants. After careful review I required the tenant to pay 50% of the bill. And end of story they paid.
In the beginning of your post you claimed the pipes have been backed up for months. Did you ever request maintenance in writing from the Landlord?
Re: Clogged drain pipe by Jake on February 11, 2012 @09:21 [ Reply ]
"My lease states that I am responsible for plumbing repairs"

Your drain has been badly clogged for months. However, you signed a lease assuming the repair cost. Now you want to spend money on a lawyer instead of a plumber. However, you left the lawyers office not getting the advice you paid for.

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