Rental homes can sometimes be abused- bleach spilled on the carpet, grease spilled on the stove, garbage disposals jammed by a fork, etc., etc., etc. But, sometimes, things break after years of proper use and other things stop working properly due to the nature of their function. In this post, we will briefly explore the most common maintenance issue faced by rental property owners and how to avoid costly repairs.
We have all been at a dinner party or friend’s home when nature called. We have answered the call just to create an embarrassing situation- a clogged toilet. Its not that we removed our socks and tried flushing them; we flushed only items deemed appropriate for flushing. But, probably because we were unfamiliar with the flushing capacity of our friend’s loo, the unwanted waste refused to be whisked away.
Clogged toilets and sinks certainly rank in the top five most common problems. How do you stop a clogged toilet before it happens? The place to start is a strong lease. A well written lease states the tenant is responsible to pay for any plumbing backup caused by them. In fact, at Bravo Group, when a tenant calls and reports a clogged toilet, we remind them they will be charged for the service call if it is determined the blockage was caused by them. Often, we do not receive a return call. Why not? The tenant was willing and able to plunge and unblock the clogged line.
Sometimes, the tenant is unable to unclog a blocked sink or shower drain because they do not have the proper tools. Since most sink and shower drains become blocked due to hair accumulation, a Zip It can clear most clogs. After removing the bulk of the hair, a small plunger that costs less than $5 at home improvement stores can be used to restore proper water flow.
Now, you may be tempted to have the tenant purchase their own plumbing supplies. The fact is most tenants will not take the time to purchase these items. Not your problem? Save yourself the headache of who caused what and who will pay and provide your tenants with less than $10 worth of plumbing tools at move-in. This one measure can save a rental home owner hundreds of dollars in plumbing service calls and will create a sense of good will that can lead to several future lease renewals!