unblocking of internal pipes – Sanitation | The Tenants' Voice
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unblocking of internal pipes - Sanitation

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665 views 3 replies latest reply: 19 July 2015

Hi all, I hope that someone is able to help me. 

I recently called the landlord with a plumbing issue that resulted in the toilet not flushing and also waste returning buck up the pipes and into the shower cubicle in the same bathroom. As you can imagine this was not very pleasant… 

The landlord sent out a plumber who immediately said their was a blockage in the soil pipe. He then proceeded to fix the issue which took around 45 minutes. Two days later I receive an email from the letting agent requesting the sum of £285 for repairs. At no point was I told that I would incur this charge. Had I known that I would have sought a quote from another proffesional as £285 for the job seems ludicrous to me. 

I understand that there are some legalities for the landlord to adhere to in regards to sanitary upkeep. After checking the tenancy agreement I have noticed that there is a point that says i agree to, “Keep clean and unblocked the sanitary apparatus water and waste pipes within the property”. 

Could someone please tell me where I stand in paying this enormous bill? 

Thank you all in advance. 

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Hi Jim

Generally speaking, if there’s an issue with maintenance or the conditoin of the pipes then it’s the landlord’s cost to bear. However, if it counts as damage – which a blockage would – then the tenant normally pays the bill. That’s why it says what it does in the tenancy agreement. Did the plumber say what was blocking it? If it was something related to the pipes being in poor condition then you could try to pass the cost back to the landlord – or at least offer to split it – as it’s never a tenant’s responsibility to detail with maitnenance or wear and tear.



Thanks Alex, this really helped. It was just a general blockage which means I am liable for the repairs. 

Can you offer any advice on challenging the £285 cost? I replied to the letting agent saying that I was not happy with the way it was dealt with and that I would not agree to paying the bill at that price. I have not heard anything back… Is this likely to cause more issues for me if it goes undealt with? 



Hi Jim

It might be helpful to get a few other quotes and see what the market rate is for this kind of work. If they’ve employed someone they know at an excessive cost (this often happens) then you should point out that the cost isn’t reasonable. You could then offer to pay the amount that is reasonable and tell them they should pick up the rest. If your research shows that the rate is reasonable then I’m afraid the sooner it’s paid the better.

It’s worth making the point to them that next time, they need to tell you in writing when a cost is yours to bear so that you can find a service provider yourself – there’s no obligation on them to do this but if you point out that it will make everyone’s lives easier as the work will get done and there will be no conflcit over the bills then they might be more amenable.

Glad the response helped, hope you get it sorted.


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