Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 19, 2017 11:25 AM|
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 19, 2017 11:27 AM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 19, 2017 12:12 PM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 19, 2017 12:19 PM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 19, 2017 12:25 PM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 19, 2017 12:30 PM
Sewer backup (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 19, 2017 12:37 PM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 19, 2017 1:24 PM
Sewer backup (by LisaFL [FL]) Feb 19, 2017 1:45 PM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 19, 2017 1:47 PM
Sewer backup (by RB [MI]) Feb 19, 2017 2:28 PM
Sewer backup (by Ken [NY]) Feb 19, 2017 3:17 PM
Sewer backup (by Smokowna [MD]) Feb 19, 2017 4:43 PM
Sewer backup (by Homer [TX]) Feb 19, 2017 4:59 PM
Sewer backup (by Dave [DE]) Feb 19, 2017 5:06 PM
Sewer backup (by RR78 [VA]) Feb 19, 2017 5:55 PM
Sewer backup (by Gail [MO]) Feb 19, 2017 6:43 PM
Sewer backup (by Mary [MI]) Feb 19, 2017 7:09 PM
Sewer backup (by LivetheDream [AZ]) Feb 20, 2017 1:15 AM
Sewer backup (by cjl [NY]) Feb 20, 2017 5:24 AM
Sewer backup (by Vee [OH]) Feb 20, 2017 5:30 AM
Sewer backup (by cjl [NY]) Feb 20, 2017 5:31 AM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 20, 2017 5:43 AM
Sewer backup (by Nicole [PA]) Feb 20, 2017 5:57 AM
Sewer backup (by Pattyk [MO]) Feb 20, 2017 6:42 AM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 20, 2017 7:45 AM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 20, 2017 8:08 AM
Sewer backup (by AllyM [NJ]) Feb 20, 2017 9:05 AM
Sewer backup (by Pattyk [MO]) Feb 20, 2017 11:08 AM
Sewer backup (by John... [MI]) Feb 20, 2017 12:33 PM
Sewer backup (by John2 [MI]) Feb 20, 2017 2:09 PM
Sewer backup (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Feb 20, 2017 3:12 PM
Sewer backup (by Gary [OK]) Feb 20, 2017 4:28 PM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 21, 2017 3:37 PM
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Feb 21, 2017 3:53 PM
Sewer backup (by John... [MI]) Feb 24, 2017 10:24 AM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Feb 24, 2017 12:44 PM
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 11:25 AM
Yesterday, we received a call about a foul smell. We found some sewer backup in the dirt cellar floor. He tried to snake it out. Ended up calling a "professional" who cleaned it out via the vent outside.
There were roots removed. The drain flowed and my husband put the sewage backup down the drain and then poured a gallon of beach directly on the cellar dirt floor.
The tenant said the smells and bleach meant she is staying at a hotel Sat night. Today she called back and said she is going to continue to stay in a hotel until the city inspects (not sure they even do that) and they are closed today and Monday. So until the air quality is tested as safe by a professional she is billing us her hotel bills.
Good 6 year tenant with three kids. --71.227.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 11:27 AM
The Question: What else can we / should we do? How can we test air quality?
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 12:12 PM
Hahaha. This happens all the time. It just happens to me Friday night. I had to pop the clean out cap and tom a direct shot of shrapnel in the face. Wasn't pretty. That "smell" isn't any worse than a bathroom after a weekend of hot wings and beer. Also, the bleach to clean it up isn't any worse.
Unless the tenant had to stay in the hotel during the night of you working on the sewer, I would tell that tenant good luck with that.
I would document everything and let them sue me. If they withheld rent, I would start eviction. If they cried in front of the judge, I would present my documented timeline (only if asked, chances are if your incourt for the eviction the judge isn't going to care about their stories) only if the judge asked.
If this were my tenant, I would start making moves towards getting them out. These are games I won't play. --74.47.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 12:19 PM
My husband showed up 1 hr after the call with the rental snake in hand. 3 hours from the call, the drain was clear and the bleach was applied about 6 hrs from the call. Kids have a 3 day weekend so we are being charged for their staycation. It is bad my husband is dealing with crap, he is getting stressed out from being manipulated. He comes home mad at me for buying rentals. We have had this one 19 yrs now and this is the first time this happened at this house. --71.227.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 12:25 PM
Stand your ground with this tenant. "NO." Is the word of the day.
I also wouldn't discuss anything with any inspector. Sewer backed up, its fixed. No issue. No testing. What needs to be tested?
Air quality? Haha.
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 12:30 PM
One more thing Sue, I would not honor or even acknowledge any testing that this tenant has done.
If she calls codes, then you know where you stand with this tenant and it's time to send her packing.
I would be interested to see what codes has to say. It's not even a code issue. Maybe hazmat, but I wouldn't bring that up. If codes contacts you directly, you could ask them what specific code a backed up sewer is violating since it's ultimately no different than a overflowing toilet.
To me it sounds like a tenant sitting around the apartment watching too much Judge Judy. --74.47.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 12:37 PM
I agree with NE. If she wants to stay in a hotel due to some basement sewer smell that's her choice. You fixed the problem. Besides it was her sewage.
Just had a tenant with sewage backup inside the tub due to a clog. It smelled. We cleared it. She cleaned it.
Your tenants sound like ones I'd be glad to be rid of. This may be your opportunity! Don't let them bully you. --107.72.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 1:24 PM
If it's a single family home, send her the bill for the professional sewer guy to clean it out. They don't just magically clog. --74.47.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 1:45 PM
She did say it was roots. --107.72.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 1:47 PM
Oh that's right Lisa. I forgot I read that. --74.47.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by RB [MI]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 2:28 PM
Cases such as this.............the Smartest One Wins.
Do what you gotta do. --71.13.xx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 3:17 PM
You did everything that could be expected in a timely manner,I would ignore her request,when she shorts the rent I would start an eviction.No wonder your husband hates the house,you send him over to do the filthiest job available in a rental,next time just pay someone to do the job. --24.25.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 4:43 PM
You did a great job.
Sorry, I would not honor even a single night at a hotel with a pool.
Sewer backup (by Homer [TX]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 4:59 PM
FYI, for future reference, don't use bleach to cover the smell. Use Lyme. --75.141.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Dave [DE]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 5:06 PM
Do you have a plan for making sure the roots don't come back so you don't have this fun all over again?
Sewer backup (by RR78 [VA]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 5:55 PM
I would not pay for the hotel room. If she wants to wait and find a place that does air testing let her.
But I would take care of the problem right away.
Maybe vinegar to help neutralize the bleach.
Then spray area with Microban if you can find it right away at a local janitorial supply company.place.
Then powered lime which is the standard treatment for raw sewage.
Then just simple plastic sheathing over all this to keep in the odors until the lime works.
Sounds like a lot but really quick and easy.
Before would have done just the lime. Now that the health dept and the courts could be involved take the extra steps. Again a few steps but still cheap and easy.
Sewer backup (by Gail [MO]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 6:43 PM
Homer is telling you right, you should have used powered lime. As far as the tenants claim for you to pay expenses, I am not as strict as the rest of them here. You stated that she was a 6 year tenant? If she is a good payer, I would try to reason with her, and perhaps pay a portion of the costs in order to keep her. Only you know how hard it is to rent a house to someone for 6 years without interruption. --8.38.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Mary [MI]) Posted on: Feb 19, 2017 7:09 PM
Almost every year when we have a heavy rain most of the basements flood in our area. Everyone cleans up their own mess and the city picks up all the stuff that got wet in the basement a few days later. I have 3 rentals on that street and no one calls me about 'bad air' inspection or hotels. One tenant came home from the hospital with a new born and her basement flooded twice due to roots .We called the plumbers to clear the sewer and that was the end of the problem. --99.62.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by LivetheDream [AZ]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 1:15 AM
So glad I live on top of a hill. S--t runs downhill, so any backups are the flatlanders problem below. :-) --47.216.xx.xxx
Sewer backup (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 5:24 AM
Agree (with Ken [NY]) about the "filthiest job" and why your husband hates the rentals.
I'll so some things but when it comes to sewer issues - I don't like to do it in my own home and I will NOT do it to someone elses (even if I own it).
The few hundred dollars it costs is worth it NOT to have to deal with it.
Sewer backup (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 5:30 AM
Well who saw the roots? This means something outside will have to be serviced or snaked again in a year, try some of the drain foam online, tenant can go on holiday or whatever but there is no reason for reimbursement, prepare for eviction - examine inside for damages so you have some idea what the deposit will cover, if you have not used it already for something else... --76.188.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 5:31 AM
I had a tenant many years ago that was in a 3 unit. She was on the top floor. The other two apartments below became vacant while she was renting.
One day when I was showing the two other apartments ... I went to the lowest one and opened the door. OMG - the entire floor was covered in sh*t. Coming up from the shower and toilet.
I called the plumber - he "corrected" it and said "if you don't get that tenant to stop flushing all this stuff (toys, pens, tampons - you name it, it was in the line kind of thing). I tell her and what does she do? FREAKS OUT. States that I can't prove that she was the one that did it and then called codes because the basement was filled with sewer backup.
When the codes guy called me to discuss I said "yes there was a back-up in the lower apartment but it was caused by her". He asked how I could prove it. I said "very easy - she's the only one that is currently living in the property for the past 2 months and it's backed up TWICE in that timeframe with all of these things (listed above) in the lines causing the backup".
Needless to say - she moved. I also created what not to flush or pour/place, etc into drain pipes, showers, toilets. --69.201.xx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 5:43 AM
Thanks for your help. Tenant is still at the hotel and texting haz mat cleaners and inspectors. We did hire a professional plumber, who did clean from outside vent, but my husband tried himself while waiting for him to arrive. Cleared the line within 5 hrs of the report of an odor. I myself, when a single home owner, rented a sewer auger and cleaned it out myself before at another house. I only needed help to drag it back up the stairs. I even retrieved a rock out of a sewer cleanout using two sticks like forceps because they wanted to excavate the line! We usually look ourselves. --70.194.x.xxx
Sewer backup (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 5:57 AM
you received this call from tenant on Saturday and you have knowledge on Monday she is still under the impression you are going to bring in hazmat and air quality inspectors?
this is a situation of where being the owner works rather than being the manager who needs to then go talk to the owner. As the owner the very first instance she asked about this your answer should have been a "no" that she understood. clean it up the same as you would in your own home and be done with it. --72.95.xx.xx
Sewer backup (by Pattyk [MO]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 6:42 AM
you handled this well... it's ok,,,
i would not have done anything different if it was my own home... however i would not be paying for any more hotel cost for this family.
They house is habitable.
Add a fan in that space to draw the smell out,,, set it so it pulls the smell outside. --184.206.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 7:45 AM
It is dry and does not smell and the tenant cames into the basement and sent a thank you for the work efforts last night. But she is still staying at a hotel until we hire an inspector. --70.194.x.xxx
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 8:08 AM
You need to let those air quality and hazmat people know that any bill resulting from tests regarding this are the sole responsibility of the tenant and not you. She will stop once she realizes it's $250 for this test and $500 for that test and on and on. --174.201.x.xx
Sewer backup (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 9:05 AM
Bleach on organic matter produces a dangerous chemical. Can't think of the name of it. That was a dumb idea to throw the clog back in and pour bleach on the residue. --73.33.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Pattyk [MO]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 11:08 AM
I would not be paying for the hot. Check out time. Let the hotel deliver the news. If its that vital to them they will pay it themselves --66.87.xx.xxx
Sewer backup (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 12:33 PM
I would simply inform her that the problem has been resolved and you see no need for an inspector. Tell her that she can have it inspected if she'd like -- and she can stay in the hotel for as long as she'd like -- but you will not be paying for it because there simply is no issue nor inspection required by law.
Sewer backup (by John2 [MI]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 2:09 PM
Sorry for your headaches... as others have said they can stay in a motel as long as they like on their dime. You took care of the issue and in Mi it's very common to have sewer issues in older neighborhoods. Low flush toilets don't help either :) when we have sewer issues I use a licensed sewer company to perform all work... when they get done they clean up.... i try to follow up with tenant either in person or via phone. Any issues I address them. I would also suggest that you add some language about this in your lease. Basements/crawl space is not living space.... store personal items at your own risk etc... btw.... I've had tenants say the same stuff as yours... it's usually because they don't have next months rent or they already have another place to live.... --70.194.x.xxx
Sewer backup (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 3:12 PM
On your root issue, I use RootX to prevent the roots from returning. The stuff isn't cheap, but it is excellent --24.239.xx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Gary [OK]) Posted on: Feb 20, 2017 4:28 PM
You have done as much as most landlords would do. Probably need to prepare for an eviction. --98.184.xxx.xxx
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2017 3:37 PM
Update: tenant still in hotel. Still concerned about bacteria in the air. She had an emergency water damage company suggest hepa air scrubbers without seeing the house starting at a cost of $ 500. After coming out, They had no suggestions to clean as it was clean, but still offered air filters service. I told contractor no to air scrubber before he came out to the house. City confirmed no city backup based on their inspection Sat. My husband said the basement smelled fine, way better than his car and the city did take the trash. --70.194.x.xxx
Sewer backup (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Feb 21, 2017 3:53 PM
Sue, I'd say you have went above and beyond. I would ignore this tenant until the first of the month when rent is due. If it's not paid, that I would contact her and start the process of getting her out. --74.47.xxx.xx
Sewer backup (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 10:24 AM
Also, if it comes to it and they do NOT pay the rent on March 1st arguing that it is because of this, note that Michigan is pretty specific about how a tenant has to handle non-payment of rent for an alleged habitability issue. They basically still have to pay it into an escrow account (which none of them do when this sort of thing comes up).
So, the law should be on your side if she tries to do that. (Even if it WAS a habitability issue, the law would be on your side when they didn't put the rent payment into escrow.)
Sewer backup (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Feb 24, 2017 12:44 PM
No update from the tenant yet. Tip: The haz mat company did say when this happens, that they put the hose up to the hot water tank and flush hot water on the floor to remedy followed by a disinfectant spray. --70.194.x.xxx