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Who is responsible for blocked drains in a rental property?

Who is responsible for blocked drains in a rental property?

Every time you move into a new rental property you would have signed a Rental Tenancy Agreement. Most people go through it with their real estate agent who flies through it with you usually briefly going over the terms and conditions and pointing out all the sign here spots as it is the 1 millionth tenancy agreement they have done. It is important to note that once you sign that agreement you are bound by those terms. Therefore it would be beneficial for you to read them before signing as they can all differ in some way shape or form.

Who is responsible for blocked drains in a rental property

The tenancy agreement fine print

In most tenancy agreements there is a Subdivision 4 Damage and repairs within this subdivision there is a description which has the Meaning of emergency and routine repairs. It is this part of your agreement that explains what is classed as an emergency. Under Queensland's "General Tenancy Agreement" a blocked or broken lavatory system is an emergency repair and must be fixed as soon as is practical

It is the responsibility of the tenant to inform the landlord of any problems listed in the Emergency Repairs section of the tenancy agreement as soon as it possible. Failure to do so can be classed as negligence by the tenant and can result in more damage being done.

Prior to entering your new rental property, the landlord should

Make sure that the property is clean and in good working order before being able to hand the keys over to you. In relation to plumbing this can include but isn't limited to:

  • Making sure the water supply is flowing properly
  • Ensure that the stove and hot water systems are operational
  • Having a plumbing inspection carried out
  • Fixing any blocked drains, leaking taps and installing water efficient showerheads and taps to the property

Can I be reimbursed for plumbing work done?

It is advised that you use the agency's emergency plumber, who's phone number should have been provided to you on your tenancy agreement, and only for urgent repairs if the landlord or agent has not contacted you back regarding the repairs. You can be reimbursed up to $1000 within 14 days of providing a receipt to the landlord.

So who's responsible?

Under tenancy law landlords are responsible for repairs throughout the lease. They can also face rent reductions and must pay compensation if a tenant's goods happen to get damaged or if the landlord fails to have repairs carried out. However, if it is deemed that the repairs were required based on damage or negligence done by the tenant then it is the tenant's responsibility to pay the bill.

Drain solutions

If your landlord is good they would have gone around the entire premise prior to your tenancy and made sure that any repairs or blocked drains are taken care of. It is then classed as a two-way street as if you are to maintain the premise and be careful of what finds its way down the drains then the chances of any problems are slim to none.

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