When it comes to the plumbing repairs of a rental property, the onus is on the landlord to ensure the plumbing is in reasonable working order throughout the term of the lease.  After that, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to take care of the amenities and report any faults as soon as possible.  Effectively, maintenance responsibilities, when it comes to plumbing, are shared.

While the landlord manages and pays for repairs, the tenant must cover the costs if the damage is caused intentionally or through negligence.  For example, kitchen sink blockages caused by food scraps or bathroom blockages caused by discarded hair are a tenant’s responsibility, as are toilet blockages caused by items that should not be flushed – nappy wipes, female sanitary products,  children’s toys.

Emergency Plumbing Repairs

Emergency plumbing repairs can include burst pipes and severe water leaks, blocked toilets, gas leaks, hot water system repairs, serious roof leaks, flooding, and significant weather damage.

  • If the property is in danger of damage, take steps to minimise the damage, e.g. Turn the water off at the mains, use buckets and or towels to catch leaks or stem the flow of water.
  • Make every effort to report it immediately to our office.  Include details and pictures to assist in outlining the issue.
  • If you are unable to contact your Property Manager because it is outside of business hours please refer to the list of trade contacts authorised to deal with emergencies, including plumbing repairs.  These can be found in your tenancy agreement.  

Non Emergency Plumbing Repairs

Non-emergency repairs include small leaks and slow-draining sinks.  These are considered to be routine repairs and can be reported and dealt with during business hours using the usual maintenance reporting procedures.

Troubleshooting Common Plumbing Issues

As Property Managers we are often contacted by Tenants faced with plumbing issues.  These are  some common plumbing issues you may be able to fix before contacting our office :-

Slow or Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are generally caused by the gradual build up of hair, soap, and other foreign materials. This problem can be solved with regular drain cleaning. Localised problems are often indicated by the presence of only one slow or clogged drain in the residence.

What can you do to Clear Blocked Drains?

  • Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.
  • Then pour 1/2 cup vinegar down the drain.
  • Plug the drain and let sit for an hour or two.
  • Lastly, pour a litre of boiling water down the drain.
  • Repeat if deemed necessary.


  • Use a Drain Cleaning product such as Draino.

Clogged Toilet

What can you do to Unclog a Toilet?

  • Use a plunger
    • Place the plunger inside the toilet bowl. The first step is to remove the air. Don’t push too hard or you’ll get dirty, gently push it down.
    • Keep the seal by firmly pumping the plunger down and up. Raising the tool instantly breaks the air seal. The water will then drain.
    • If the clog persists, repeat the steps until it loosens.
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda
    • Using the same process as outlined above for clearing a blocked drain.

In conclusion the property owner is responsible for the majority of repairs and maintenance to ensure that plumbing is in good working order.

On the other hand, tenants are responsible for ensuring the property remains clean and in working order. So, this means keeping your drains, toilets, sinks, and water tanks clean and free of debris. This will also help to reduce the likelihood of repairs or maintenance being required throughout the tenancy.