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Tenant Or Landlord’s Responsibility to Unclog A Toilet

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: My tenant keeps clogging the toilet in the apartment they live in. First it was tampons then it was a diaper and then it was their kids toy. I’m tired of paying my handyman to fix these problems. Can I make my tenant responsible for unclogging the toilet if it happens again? Frank, Kearny, NJ

A: Frank, I have been a landlord for over 20 years and one of the line items in the tenant lease addendum I use makes my tenants responsible for unclogging toilets that they or one of the occupants in their unit caused to be clogged. If the toilet backup was caused by an issue with the pipes or drains, it would be your responsibility to rectify as the landlord. That said, as an owner, it’s in your best interest to unclog a toilet in the property that you own to avoid it causing damage to your property. My lease addendum requires my tenants to pay a fine and pay for the cost to unclog a toilet that they clogged. Thanks for your question, Frank.

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