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Drains and Pipework Tips for Landlords

30th Apr 2019

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, landlords are legally obliged to make basic repairs to a property; and this does include drainage and pipework.

However, tenants also have responsibilities for looking after the drains so we'll tell you in this helpful guide just what is yours and what is your tenants' responsibilities when it comes to your property's drainage and plumbing.

As a landlord, what are your obligations?

If you rent out a property, you are responsible for completing the majority of major repairs in the home, including;

  • The structure of the property, including doors, windows, walls and the roof
  • Internal pipework
  • Sinks, showers, toilets and baths
  • Heating, radiators and hot water
  • The safety of electrical and gas appliances
  • Sewers, drains, rainwater pipes and guttering

In addition, your property must also comply with the following requirements to avoid the risk of an enforcement notice from your local authority;

  • All parts of the domestic dwelling should be in good working order and a reasonable state of repair
  • Emergency repairs, including burst water pipes, faulty electrical installations, failed central heating and leaking roofs, should be tended to within 24 hours wherever possible. You should also pass on important information such as emergency contact numbers and instructions about how to turn off electricity, water and gas supplies to tenants

Tenants' responsibilities for blocked drains and pipework

Small and minor repairs, such as changing fuses and lightbulbs, are the responsibility of your tenant. Likewise, if they break anything they should either fix it or have it replaced. Similarly, if your tenant blocks any gullies, waste pipes or drains through misuse, it is their responsibility to have them repaired.

Five helpful landlord property maintenance tips

1. Educate the tenants on drain health

It is well worth spending just five minutes of your time talking to your tenants about what they should and should not be putting down their toilets or sinks. You can either do this verbally or provide the relevant information in a tenant information pack when they first move in. Essentially, you should explain to them that any drain blockages caused by non-biodegradable items in toilets and sinks will be their responsibility to fix.

2. Check the property's pipework

When you purchase the property, or just before your tenants are about to move in, it is important that you conduct a thorough audit of the property's plumbing and pipework, with a pre-purchase or homebuyers drain survey. You should also check the integrity of fitted appliances before the start of every new tenancy. This will ensure that every part of the property's pipework is in good working order and identify any jobs that need to be done.

3. Install and update grease management systems

With over two-thirds of drain blockages caused by the build-up of oil, grease and fat, an effective grease management system can help to reduce the risk of a blockage and the expense associated with emergency plumber call outs.

4. Opt into a plumbing maintenance plan

Plumbing maintenance plans involve regular maintenance and check-ups to not only ensure that issues are identified before they become expensive or problematic to solve, but also ensure optimum performance. It's therefore worthwhile customising a plumbing maintenance plan to meet your particular needs and save you money in the long-term.

5. Have an emergency plumbing plan in place

Do you have the number of an emergency drainage expert you know will provide a cost-effective, reliable and affordable 24 hour call out service? If not, find out more about our emergency drainage call out service today.

At JLH Drains, we provide a pre-tenancy drain clean and inspection service to give tenants and landlords the peace of mind they need. To find out more about this service, or to enquire about any other drainage and plumbing work at your property, contact us today

Category: Drainage and Pipework