Plumbing Tips Every Renter Needs to Know
Eliminating the risk of losing your home value, the flexibility to easily move when your lease ends, and lower maintenance costs are just some of the many advantages of renting. While the landlord owns the home, you still have responsibilities in order to keep it in great shape.
Have the best possible lease term and maximize deposit refunds at the end of the lease with these plumbing tips for renters:
Before You Move in:
Know Your Rights
As a renter, you have the right to live in a habitable rental property. Landlords are required to keep buildings and units in a habitable condition and ensure that it is structurally sound, provide hot and cold water, ensure that the roof is not leaking, and keep the plumbing, electrical and heating systems all in safe operating condition.
Communicate with Your Landlord
Talk to your landlord and ensure you’re both on the same page. Who will handle the repairs when plumbing issues arise? If the landlord covers the major issues but expects you to cover the smaller issues, be sure to clarify what is considered an issue you must take care of yourself. Discuss if the repairs the landlord takes care of will be deducted from the security deposit or if the landlord covers the costs of the repairs. It’s ideal to get these agreements in writing to refer back to if a problem arises.
Take a Tour
When you pick up your keys from your landlord, take a tour of the property and check out your plumbing. Ask them to show you where the main water shutoff valve is located. This valve can be used in a water emergency to stop water flow. Another great idea is to have your landlord tag the valve so you can locate it quickly in case of emergency. Additionally, locate the individual shut off vales for toilets and sinks.
Be informed about the plumbing in your new home. Ask if there are any general plumbing issues or information you should be aware of, if any pipes are prone to freezing in the winter, and if there have been any sewer issues in the past. Speak up during your tour and ask about anything that doesn’t look up to par.
While You Rent:
Protect Your Drain
Use a strainer to protect the drains in your sinks and shower tubs. Strainers will catch extra food, hair, or other debris that cause build up and eventually clog your pipes. Also, be sure to NEVER put fats, oils, or grease down your drain.
Learn Simple Plumbing Repair
Even with a landlord, it’s important to know simple plumbing repairs for common problems. A big one to know is how to fix a clogged toilet. You don’t want to be stuck with a non-functionally (and smelly!) bathroom, especially if you have company over. (HINT: It’s definitely a good idea to buy a plunger to keep in your bathroom.)
Keep Your Washing Machine Working
If your home has a washing machine, it will be your responsibility to keep it clean. While the landlord should deal with the functionality of it, you’ll want to keep it clean so it can effectively clean your clothes and linens. Clean your washing machine regularly and prevent future mold and mildew from growing.
Prevent Frozen Pipes in the Winter
When water freezes it expands and the extra pressure can cause your plumbing pipes to burst. Prevent frozen pipes by taking measures when you leave your home and the plumbing won’t be used regularly. Leave cupboard doors open under the sink to allow warmer air to circulate by the pipes and keep a small drip flowing through your faucets.
Lower Your Bills
If you’re paying for your hot water, you can lower your bill and avoid possible scalding water burns by setting the water heater to the appropriate temperature. Water heaters should be set to the industry standard of 120°F. Adjusting the temperature is an easy fix you can do yourself.
At the End of Your Lease:
Leave your home in optimal condition to avoid being charged a cleaning expense or not getting your full security deposit back. Clean plumbing fixtures such as your garbage disposal, shower and sink drains, and washing machine, in addition to cleaning the rest of your home.
With this list in mind, you’ll have a successful lease term in your rented property. For the plumbing repairs you’re responsible for, contact Ben Franklin Plumbing. Our Punctual Plumbers can help you with plumbing emergencies, leaky pipes, drain cleaning and more! Schedule a service online today.
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