Landlord & Tenant Guide to Plumbing and Drainage Responsibilities

There are a number of obligations that landlords and tenants must meet with regards to the plumbing and drainage at a property – and the penalties for failing to fulfil your responsibilities can be severe. With that in mind, Drain Doctor have compiled a handy guide to all your responsibilities, along with tips to help you meet them.

What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

As per the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, section 11, the responsibility for basic repairs lies with the landlord. Most major repairs around the home are also the responsibility of the landlord, including the following:

  • Structure of the property e.g. roof, walls, doors and windows
  • Internal pipework and wiring
  • Drains, sewers, guttering and rainwater pipes
  • Showers, baths, sinks and toilets
  • Heating and hot water
  • Safety of gas and electrical appliances

Any structural damage or blockages in pipes and drains must be fixed by the landlord once notified of the issue by the tenant, while emergency repairs should be dealt with within 24 hours. Landlords are also obliged to provide tenants with any necessary information regarding the property’s facilities, for example how to turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies. The cost of repair work is the responsibility of the landlord, and landlords may not charge their tenants for any work undertaken.

Landlord maintenance tips

Prior to tenants moving in, it’s essential that you undertake a comprehensive check of the property’s drainage and plumbing, to ensure there are no underlying issues. A CCTV drain survey is a quick and simple way of identifying any issues inside your drains, allowing you to rectify the problem before your tenants move in.

Routine Maintenance

You may wish to set up a plumbing plan that covers both regular maintenance and emergency issues. Routine maintenance can resolve drainage issues before they cause any serious damage, while emergency plumbing situations can become increasingly costly if they aren’t solved immediately – so it’s important you have access to a company you can trust.

It is in both parties’ interest to ensure a property’s drains are maintained correctly to avoid the possibility of blockages and damage. When your tenants first move in, let them know which products can be disposed of down the drains and which cannot – ideally in a tenant information pack that can be referred to later.

Grease Management System

One final thing to consider is installing a grease management system. Grease accounts for up to 70% of drain blockages, and many companies now offer effective biological treatments that can break down grease quickly – reducing the number of expensive call-outs you need to make.

What are the tenant’s responsibilities?

While the landlord is accountable for major repairs, minor repairs or replacements (e.g. light bulbs) are the tenant’s responsibility. If drains or pipes are damaged due to the tenant’s misuse, it is the tenant’s obligation to get them fixed. The tenant is also responsible for basic home maintenance, including the proper use of all facilities, keeping the home clean, tidy and well ventilated, and preventing unnecessary blockages of drains and pipework.

Tenant maintenance tips

One basic thing to remember is that if you discover any drain blockages or damage, you should report it to your landlord immediately – this allows the landlord to act quickly to prevent the problem escalating unnecessarily.

Non-Flushable Items

Non-biodegradable items are likely to cause blockages, so it’s important that tenants avoid putting these down the toilet to prevent the risk of slow-draining water.

Home Maintenance

As a basic rule, tenants are advised to treat their rented property even better than they would treat a home they owned – by taking extra care to maintain the home correctly, you protect both yourself and your landlord from unnecessary inconvenience and cost.

The key to keeping your home’s drains in full working order is regular maintenance, on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant – the quicker you identify any drainage problems, the easier and cheaper it will be to rectify them.

Drain Doctor’s comprehensive drainage service is available 24 hours a day and covers everything from pre-tenancy CCTV drain surveys and routine maintenance to emergency plumbing requirements – so if you’re in need of assistance, contact our team today.