For a property to be lucrative, as a landlord it’s up to you to ensure that your tenants have a habitable and a safe place to live in. For this, you’ll have to be highly committed as there are several aspects that need your attention. You’ll have to be on top of the safety checks and maintenance so that your property remains profitable and in demand. This way, you’ll be able to reduce periods of void which can cost you potential income.
A common reason for dispute between tenants and landlord is who’s responsible for plumbing issues that occur.
In this piece, we’ll take a close look at this, so that as a landlord you know which plumbing issues you’re required to deal with on legal grounds.
Plumbing Checks To Perform Pre-Tenancy
As a landlord, it is your duty to find and fix any plumbing issues that your property may have. When the tenant moves in, your property must be completely safe and habitable. If you fail to perform these checks beforehand, the local authorities might take enforcement action against you.
We’ve put together a list of pre-tenancy plumbing checks that you should perform:
- Check taps for leaks and drips.
- Check sinks to ensure that there are no problems with draining.
- Check showers/bathtubs for signs of dampness. If required, replace the seals.
- Check metal pipes for corrosion.
- Check drains for blockage. Additionally, get the drain and gutters inspected and cleaned for peace of mind.
- Check that hot water cylinders and boilers are in working condition. Get all gas appliances checked by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
- Check if the radiators, valves and fittings are working perfectly well.
If any plumbing issues come to light, get them fixed before tenants move in. Minor plumbing issues that crop up should be dealt with early on before they get out of hand.
Once The Tenant Moves In…
Once you’ve sealed the deal and the tenants move in, you should provide them with all the information they might need in case an emergency arises. For instance, give them the contact details of an emergency plumber along with instructions regarding turning off gas and water supply and the mains.
You should also let them know that they’ll be held responsible in case blockages occur in waste pipes, sinks and the drains in case of misuse. This can be communicated either verbally or you can mention this in the rental agreement.
Plumbing Repair Responsibilities
Once the tenant moves in, the responsibility of the repair will depend on the reason for the issue and the nature of the repair. The tenant will have to foot the bill if they were at fault for the damage due to misuse or because they aggravated the problem by attempting to fix it on their own. If the necessity of the repair arises due to normal wear and tear, then as the landlord, you’ll have to take care of it. If the repairs are minor, for instance, a dripping tap, the tenant will be responsible to fix it depending on the terms specified in the lease.
Urgent Plumbing Repairs
If there is a pressing issue that jeopardises the safety and/or habitability of the tenant and your property, then as the landlord you’ll be responsible to carry out the necessary repairs. Urgent plumbing repairs like these must be taken care of within 24 hours.
These repairs include:
- Severe leakage from the ceiling
- Bursting of water mains
- Blocked toilets
- Any plumbing issue that compromises the safety of the property.
Non-urgent repairs will depend on the reason for the plumbing issue and on the rental agreement as well. It includes repairs like blocked drains and leaking pipes. Such repairs must be taken care of within two weeks.
And there you have it!
This handy guide from Hunsbury Heating will help you keep disputes and uncomfortable conversations at bay!
If you’re having issues with your plumbing, make sure to give our friendly, reliable team a call on 07919 008441, now.