January 12, 2022

Plumbing problems in your rental?

The plumbing in a property isn’t something we tend to think about until something goes wrong, and in a rental property looking after that plumbing is a bit of a shared responsibility.

On the one hand, the property owner is responsible for emergency repairs and maintaining the plumbing so it works, but on the other the rental occupier has a role to play as well.

So, let’s look at what happens when there are plumbing problems in a rental.

Property owner’s responsibility

As we mentioned, the property owner has a responsibility to ensure the plumbing is safe and working.

That means they should undertake any maintenance and repairs required to address leaks, blockages, broken water pipes, or hot water heaters which don’t work properly.

In fact, in many cases, if something goes seriously wrong with the plumbing it’s classed as an emergency which needs to rectified as quickly as possible.

Under rental legislation in most states, plumbing issues that constitute an emergency repair include:

A burst water service or serious water service leak

  • Broken or blocked toilet systems
  • A serious roof leak
  • Burst water pipes
  • Flooding
  • Broken water heater

The rental occupier’s responsibility

The rental occupier is responsible for reporting any plumbing issues to the property manager in a timely and reasonable manner.

It is also their responsibility to ensure they don’t knowingly do something that will damage the plumbing.

So, for example, they shouldn’t flush things down sinks or drains that are likely to block them and cause a plumbing problem.

Meanwhile, when it comes to plumbing even if something doesn’t seem urgent, it’s really important the issue is reported to the property manager quickly.

Why? Because even minor leaks can quickly compound into major problems.

A case study

If you’re looking for an example of how small plumbing problems can quickly develop into major issues, consider this scenario…

A rental occupier notices their shower head is consistently dripping hot water, but doesn’t think it’s a big deal and only reports the matter a couple of weeks later.

In the interim, the bathroom starts to go mouldy due to the increased humidity in such a small room.

By the time the issue is reported and the property manager sends a plumber, the costs to fix the problem has now increased significantly.

Now the walls and ceiling need mould removed in addition to the tap repair, and arguably this mould cleaning could be the responsibility of the rental occupier because they failed to report the leaking tap in a timely manner.

So, what’s the takeaway?

The big plumbing takeaway

If there is a problem with the plumbing in your property, report it to the property manager quickly.

They will then liaise with the property owner to have that issue rectified, and if the problem constitutes an emergency, they will need to do so in a very timely manner.

Ultimately, the upshot is that the best rental arrangements are those where the rental occupier, property manager and rental owner work together to look after the property and collaborate to address any issues that arise.

How we can help

Our experienced property managers pride themselves on establishing great relationships with both rental occupiers and owners.

We manage every property as if it were our own and you can learn more about our property management services here.

Alternatively, if you are looking to rent a property, you can view the properties we currently have available here.