5 Plumbing Tips Every Landlord Should Follow

Man tightening pipe under sink. Plumbing tips for landlords text in upper right corner

Look, we get it: you probably don’t want to spend a whole lot of time thinking about your renter’s bathroom experience. It can feel weird to realize that, on some level, you’re responsible for ensuring they have a comfortable, safe place to do their business. Remember, however, that the thing that separates an ok landlord from a great landlord is the ability to handle your renter’s problems and make sure everything’s working properly. Well, you know, at least where your property is concerned.

Luckily, with just a little knowhow, you should be prepared to handle any of the no doubt ridiculous problems your renters have and will throw at you. When it comes to plumbing emergencies, especially plumbing emergencies involving several unhappy people, knowing what to do before you have to do it will prevent a major headache for everyone down the line. Here are five things you should do to cover your bases for when that one renter “accidentally” tries to flush a extra large cheese pizza down their toilet at three in the morning.

Learn How To Make The Basic Repairs

How often does your toilet clog at home? How often does one of your pipes leak? Now multiply that by how ever many renters you have. Even if you virtually never have your own plumbing issues, odds are someone in your building is going to break something (probably Kevin. Dude is up to something). When that happens, they’re going to come to you, so if you can fix it correctly and quickly, you’ll save money and keep your renter happy and out of your hair.

Know how to plunge a toilet and use a snake on tough toilet and drain clogs. Learn how you can (surprisingly easily) fix most leaky faucets and shower heads. If you can find and fix a leaking pipe, you’ll do a lot for your renter’s state of mind and save yourself some money and property damage. Doing the quick stuff yourself is an easy way to save money and improve your renter’s living experience. A happy renter is a happy landlord (Usually. We hope.)!

Have the Right Tools

Ben Franklin Plumbers have the right tools to get the job done.

Knowing how to fix common problems won’t do you much good if you don’t have what you need when you need it. You might think your renter would bring a plunger with them or have, like, ONE wrench, but Kevin probably doesn’t even know what a plunger is. If you keep cleaning and plumbing supplies on-site, you’ll always have them when you need them. Consider investing in a basic tool box, along with a plunger, a snake, a mop and vacuum cleaner, and maybe even replacement parts for commonly broken things, like O-rings or toilet seats.

Obviously, you can’t predict every situation you might find yourself in, but having a set of tools nearby could make a big difference. When Kevin’s toilet goes Yellowstone and sprays less-than-sanitary water into his neighbor’s apartment upstairs, you don’t want to have to run to the hardware store before you do something about it.

Know What To Do In A Plumbing Emergency

It’s really not fun to think about, but in spite of preparation your pipes could burst, especially in these Minnesota winters we’re so fond of. When this happens it’s important you act quickly, or your property could get severe water damage. Know exactly where your water shutoff valve is. Turn off your water, turn on a faucet somewhere to drain remaining water in the system, and deal with any misplaced water. Once you’ve done that, call your plumber! Know how to spot signs that a major plumbing problem, like a leaking water heater or a burst pipe, may be developing.

Everything you can do to reduce the likelihood that something dire happens on your property lowers your chance of being caught unprepared. The more you know about the basics of caring for your property’s plumbing, the better you’ll be able to react in the event Kevin clogs his shower’s drain with pizza. Again with the pizza Kevin?! In the shower?!

Educate Your Renters


It’s important for you to stay aware of any potential property problems you may face, but you can’t be everywhere at once. It’s true that your building is your responsibility, but your renters have an obligation to take care of the space they’re staying in, too. You never know how much a renter knows about how to care for a home, or what not to do to their apartment’s plumbing (KEVIN). It can be a good idea to include some brief, friendly tips for your renters as they move in on how to take care of their living space.

It can be unfortunately easy to become distrustful of your renters, but remember: you’re all in this together. Or, at least, they want their security deposit back. It can’t hurt to share your knowhow with the people staying on your property. You won’t feel like you’re the only person looking after everything, and your renters will be grateful that you’re looking out for them. Everybody wins. Except Kevin. He’s never getting that deposit back.

Have A Reliable Plumber On-hand

Sorry if the self-promotion seems shameless, but this really is one of the most important things a landlord can do. Get a plumber who’s available 24/7 and who is quick, reliable, and trustworthy. You can solve some of the problems your renter’s make for you on their own, but there are somethings you can’t and shouldn’t have to do. Establishing a relationship with plumbers who get the job done means you and your renters have someone to call if the worst happens.

Even if you’re as prepared as humanly possible, there’s always the chance that Kevin will SOMEHOW make trouble for you. If that happens, know that Ben Franklin Plumbing’s professionals are on-call anytime to handle whatever emergency Kevin can throw at them. If you follow these tips and keep us in mind as your trump card, you and your renters will be prepared for whatever strange, possibly pizza-related complication comes your way.


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