As a renter, it can be confusing as to what types of issues and problems you are responsible for and what things your landlord is responsible to pay for. While it's obvious that major damage inside or outside the apartment is typically paid for by the landlord, what about small issues? A clogged toilet is a minor issue that can cause big problems if not resolved quickly. When you are in doubt as to who should pay a plumber to come out and unclog your toilet, keep reading.
Learn Your Local Tenant/Landlord Laws
Every state, and even most municipalities, has their own laws pertaining to tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities. While there are some differences to these laws based on where you live, they all indicate that landlords must provide clean and safe housing for their tenants. The basic habitability requirements that landlords must follow include:
- Adequate weatherproofing
- Coverage of expenses to maintain property due to normal wear and tear.
Considering these laws, most people would consider a clogged toilet as an issue that came about from normal wear and tear, so the landlord is responsible to pay for a professional plumber to come and fix it.
But there are always exceptions to the rules. Tenants also have to follow regulations and must keep their apartments clean and sanitary. If repairs are needed due to negligence, then tenants have to pay for it. So, if your child flushed a toy down the toilet that caused the clog, then you are responsible to pay for the plumber to come get it out.
Consult Your Rental Lease
If you are legally renting your apartment, then you signed a lease agreement before you moved in. A well-rounded lease agreement will include information on who is responsible for covering what issues throughout the lease period. Since you signed the contract, you must follow what it says. If the lease agreement says the tenant is responsible for any expense resulting from a clogged toilet, then you must follow that term and pay for the plumbing service to fix your toilet.
Call Your Landlord
If you've read through your local tenant/landlord laws and scoured your lease agreement and you are still not sure if you or your landlord is responsible for paying a professional to unclog your toilet, then simply call your landlord and ask him or her directly. Tell the landlord what the problem is, and be specific in your description. Then the landlord will tell you if you are responsible for paying for the fix or if he or she will. If you are responsible to pay to have the toilet unclogged, your landlord may even provide you with a good reference for a trustworthy and dependable plumber to come and take care of the problem.
If you have any questions about unclogging a toilet, call your local licensed plumber. He or she will be happy to help you. And if you can't get the clog free on your own, this plumber will be happy to come and do it for you.