One of the most common tenant complaints concerns plumbing. Plumbing problems can range from minor inconveniences to catastrophic ones that need to be repaired stat. Whatever the severity, plumbing problems need to be dealt with, as they can cause costly issues with the property’s structure. Unfortunately, these problems can occur often, so you need to be prepared to deal with them.
Don’t get us wrong – you don’t need to be a professional plumber to deal with these problems, but it does help to have a bit of know-how. Below, you’ll find a couple of the common plumbing problems you’ll inevitably have to deal with as a landlord.
What Are the Common Plumbing Problems in a Rental Property?
Every real estate investment needs maintenance. Whether it’s simple maintenance or extensive (and expensive) repairs, you’re bound to run into plumbing problems at some point. With that said, when these situations arise, it is vital for investors such as yourself to attend to these problems as soon as possible. If you don’t, you risk dealing with disgruntled tenants who won’t want to renew their lease.
And remember, as the property owner, you’re obligated to provide your tenants with a habitable home. In some states, if you fail to deal with plumbing issues immediately, you may be in trouble with the law. Consult a property management company to find out what your state’s specific laws are.
1. Clogged Drain
Everyone has had a clogged drain. Your tenants will inevitability have a clogged drain at some point in their tenancy, too. Although clogged drains aren’t that big of a deal, the problem can be harmful to the home’s overall “health” if left unattended for too long. This is because the clog can cause sewer backup – this is when the wastewater in the sink has nowhere to go, so it “backs up”.
For that reason, if your tenants report clogged drains in the rental property, don’t ignore it. Unclog the drain by disassembling the pieces that contain debris. Cleaning solutions can help unclog drains, however, some of them contain chemicals that can damage certain fixtures.
2. Leaky Faucet
Leaky faucets are a common problem, which is why homeowners don’t think they’re that big of a deal. Unfortunately, what they don’t know is that this “minor” inconvenience means money down the drain – this is particularly true if your tenants pay for their water bill. Fortunately, this plumbing problem’s fix is a no-brainer. Typically, all you need to do is switch off the water valve and replace the degraded washer with a brand-new one.
By doing that, your faucet should be good to go. However, if it still leaks, then there may be a problem with the faucet’s base. You’ll be able to fix that by tightening it with a wrench. If that doesn’t work, you should contact a plumber as it probably needs a more complex fix. To save time, partner with a professional property management firm that can send a professional (and reputable) plumber to your property whenever you have plumbing problems.
3. Low Water Pressure
If your tenants often complain that the water pressure is too low, you need to address their concerns immediately. If your tenants aren’t satisfied, they will be more likely to move out. Understandably, it can be bothersome to suffer from low water pressure, as this prevents you from doing the dishes, showering, etc.
To resolve this issue, check if there are clogged drains – this is the common cause of low water pressure. If that isn’t the case, you should read the water pressure gauge. If it’s lower than 60 psi, contact your water company immediately, as this is way below the standard.
Sometimes, however, the cause of low water pressure is a water valve that isn’t open all the way. In that case, all you have to do is to completely open it. If this still doesn’t raise the water pressure, you need to contact a professional.
4. Running Toilet
Sometimes, tenants don’t mind running toilets as they think it isn’t a cause for concern. However, this common plumbing problem shouldn’t be ignored as it can raise their water bill (or your water bill if you’re covering your tenant’s utilities). Fortunately, it’s a quick fix. All you need to do is replace the flapper, the tiny “plug” in your toilet’s tank. The flapper is what allows water into your toilet bowl, but over time, it will be worn out.
If that doesn’t “silence” the toilet, you’ll need to replace its parts. In that case, consult a professional plumber or South Florida property management company. Do not poke around your toilet if you don’t know what you’re doing.
5. Clogged Toilet
There’s a good chance that your tenants have had a clogged toilet more than once. If you provide your tenants with a plunger, they should be able to deal with clogged toilets by themselves. However, if they don’t know how to unclog a toilet, you will get a call from them. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to drive to the unit – you can instruct your tenant via call.
First, your tenant should allow the water to lower on its own. When the toilet bowl has a tiny amount of water left, they should tightly put the plunger on top of the opening. They should then start to perform a plunging motion. If that doesn’t do it, the best course of action would be to call a plumber to your property. Of course, you could fix it yourself, but that would be time-consuming.
Partner With the Pros to Fix Plumbing Problems ASAP
When you partner with a property management company, you’ll be able to deal with your tenant’s plumbing problems in no time. At Luxury Property Care, we have a wide network of vetted vendors whom we can call to fix rental concerns. As your partner in property management, we’ll ensure that all of your tenant’s needs are met immediately. This will encourage lease renewals, as well as protect your property from damage.