As a landlord, you’re responsible for the plumbing and drain health at all your premises. Drain surveys are a technique that you will find helpful to fulfill these responsibilities, and are an excellent way to assess exactly what’s going on in your drainage systems. This is useful both before a tenant moves in as a general health check of your property, or if your tenant raises any issues themselves.
So, exactly how can drain surveys benefit landlords and their tenants?
Before a Tenant Moves In
When renting out your property as a landlord, you first need to ensure it’s in top working order and in a liveable condition. Not only will you attract tenants this way, you will also avoid disputes with your tenants, not to mention costly repairs, further down the line.
As part of pre-tenancy checks, all plumbing should be inspected. This could include identifying leaks or drips, flushing toilets and running taps to ensure the water is draining correctly, searching for damp patches, looking for corrosion on pipes, and making sure all radiators are heating up properly.
Despite all this, it’s very difficult to check the internal health of drains without a drain survey. There could be issues manifesting without you realising it, which may develop into a more serious problem in the future. Drain surveys are worth carrying out every now and then, especially before the start of a new tenancy. The technique of drain surveying involves feeding a state-of-the-art camera into your drainage pipes, and using the real-time footage to assess the health of the drains and identify any issues.
By sorting out these more hidden problems before a tenant moves in, you can reduce the likelihood of future headaches for both you and your tenants.
If a Tenant Notices a Problem
From the very first day your tenant moves in, you should highlight the importance of good drain health e.g. not flushing harmful ingredients or unsuitable items down the drain.
Should one of your tenants raise a drainage problem with you, it may be unclear as to who is responsible for repair. If you suspect that your tenant’s negligence or behaviour is the cause of the drainage issue, you may wish to challenge them on the point and request that they cover the costs. However, if the drainage issue has a natural cause such as wear and tear, the costs and responsibility generally reside with the landlord. If the blockage is outside the bounds of a property, it may be the responsibility of the utility company.
A drain survey can help not only diagnose the problem, but also help assess who is at fault. For example, if the footage reveals a crack in the pipe, you can assume this is not your tenant’s fault – however, if something else reveals itself, you may have more room to contest who covers the cost. Your tenant might have bad habits that could be damaging your drainage e.g. flushing sanitary towels down the toilet, or washing grease down a sink.
Drain surveys are ideal for more ‘hidden’ problems that are not immediately obvious. Surveys are delivered by professional drainage companies, who will use specialised drainage cameras to pinpoint the exact location of any blockage, pest or pipe damage. This means that diagnosis and resolution of the issue is swift, allowing your property’s plumbing to be restored to full working order with minimal delay.
Here at Express Drainage Solutions, we are London’s leading drainage experts and provide drain surveys, maintenance and repairs for landlords, homeowners and businesses.
Our professional drain surveys use state-of-the-art technology to pinpoint the exact location and nature of any issues. Discover more about our pre-tenancy drain inspections and surveys, or about our many other services, by getting in touch with our team.