Who pays here?
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Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Jun 10, 2022 9:24 AM
       Who pays here? (by MikeA [TX]) Jun 10, 2022 9:57 AM
       Who pays here? (by Deanna [TX]) Jun 10, 2022 9:58 AM
       Who pays here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Jun 10, 2022 10:01 AM
       Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Jun 10, 2022 10:06 AM
       Who pays here? (by MikeA [TX]) Jun 10, 2022 10:21 AM
       Who pays here? (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Jun 10, 2022 11:37 AM
       Who pays here? (by Rick [IN]) Jun 10, 2022 11:38 AM
       Who pays here? (by OPM [OR]) Jun 10, 2022 11:39 AM
       Who pays here? (by Hoosier [IN]) Jun 10, 2022 11:48 AM
       Who pays here? (by RB [TN]) Jun 10, 2022 11:51 AM
       Who pays here? (by Ken [NY]) Jun 10, 2022 12:12 PM
       Who pays here? (by RB [TN]) Jun 10, 2022 12:36 PM
       Who pays here? (by Jason [VA]) Jun 10, 2022 12:39 PM
       Who pays here? (by Moshe [CA]) Jun 10, 2022 12:48 PM
       Who pays here? (by Ken [NY]) Jun 10, 2022 1:00 PM
       Who pays here? (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Jun 10, 2022 1:50 PM
       Who pays here? (by Robert J [CA]) Jun 10, 2022 1:55 PM
       Who pays here? (by RR78 [VA]) Jun 10, 2022 2:29 PM
       Who pays here? (by Pat [VA]) Jun 10, 2022 3:33 PM
       Who pays here? (by Allym [NJ]) Jun 10, 2022 3:55 PM
       Who pays here? (by Ed [CA]) Jun 10, 2022 4:13 PM
       Who pays here? (by DJ [VA]) Jun 10, 2022 4:57 PM
       Who pays here? (by DJ [VA]) Jun 10, 2022 5:00 PM
       Who pays here? (by S i d [MO]) Jun 10, 2022 5:17 PM
       Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Jun 10, 2022 6:35 PM
       Who pays here? (by 6x6 [TN]) Jun 10, 2022 7:38 PM
       Who pays here? (by Homer [TX]) Jun 10, 2022 7:53 PM
       Who pays here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Jun 11, 2022 9:22 AM
       Who pays here? (by tryan [MA]) Jun 11, 2022 12:52 PM
       Who pays here? (by Lana [IN]) Jun 11, 2022 1:31 PM
       Who pays here? (by PG [SC]) Jun 11, 2022 7:55 PM
       Who pays here? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jun 11, 2022 10:55 PM
       Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Jun 12, 2022 9:02 AM
       Who pays here? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jun 13, 2022 11:49 AM
       Who pays here? (by Patti [OK]) Jun 13, 2022 12:15 PM
       Who pays here? (by Sue [IN]) Jun 13, 2022 6:22 PM

Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 9:24 AM

I got a call this morning from a tenant who has a clogged toilet and she admitted she created the problem by trying to flush too much too much TP. I told her she could call my plumber but she would have to pay him directly which would be around $75.00 for a service call. She told me she did not have the money to pay for this.

What would you do in this situation? Go unclog her toilet yourself or pay your plumber/handyman to go do it? Or do nothing. The real issue here is: who pays when a tenant can't or won't pay? --71.207.xxx.x

Who pays here? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 9:57 AM

Let me tell you what she is saying without saying, "I caused it but since I spent all my money on my nails and as long as I can get away with being helpless I will be expecting you the rich landlord to take care of this."

I would encourage her to spend an hour using the plunger I left since she doesn't have money for a plumber. Fill the bowl up halfway with water to help put pressure on the clog, press the plunger down slowly as hard as possible maintaining contact with the toilet all the way around and then yank it up hard as possible, repeat this process until it comes loose.

When she calls back then tell you will pay the plumber and bill her for the repair which will be due with next months rent plus a service fee of $50. Failure to pay will result in being late with rent since funds will be applied to the bill first. --209.205.xxx.xx

Who pays here? (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 9:58 AM

I pay to make sure my house is taken care of. I don't want to rot out my floorboards because they can't afford to take responsibility for their actions.

Whether I keep them or find someone more stable depends on the bigger picture-- whether I'm feeling charitable and deciding to give them stability in an unstable environment because they're overall okay, even if they're living on the edge, or whether I'm tired of being responsible for them when they're chronically irresponsible, and prefer to do business with someone who has it more together. I wouldn't do it in a retaliatory way... but it would be something I'd keep in mind. --137.118.xx.xxx

Who pays here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 10:01 AM

She pays. $75 is cheap for a plumber to come unclog a toilet. I thought my plumber was cheap as he charges me $150 while the going rate around me is $250-$350.

I’d give the option to pay plumber directly or pay you over four months with an extra $25 per month to cover the cost and fees. So pay $75 now, or $100 over four months.

On the positive side, at least she was honest about it. --75.89.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 10:06 AM


Lets assume your tenant is not successful with the toilet plunger. What happens next? And who pays for it? --71.207.xxx.x

Who pays here? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 10:21 AM

As I said, I would tell her I will pay the plumber if she can't but there will be a $50 service fee on top of the plumbers bill and she will be expected to pay it with next months rent.

She needs wallet training. --209.205.xxx.xx

Who pays here? (by Oregon Woodsmoke [ID]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 11:37 AM

I suggest that you do not leave her with a clogged toilet.

Myself, I would go over there with a good plunger and teach her how to use it. Also teach her to flush halfway through if she needed to load the toilet up for some unfathomable reason.

Leave the plunger there on a saucer behind the toilet and tell her that if she calls again with a clogged toilet, it is going to cost her $75 to have someone come and work the plunger for her. If she expects someone else to work a plunger for her a second time after that, that she will be evicted and sent to rent elsewhere where the landlord doesn't mind plunging toilets for his tenants.

Tenants can learn to use a plunger. Basically they don't own one and don't think it is their job to buy one, not when all they have to do is to call the landlord. It is your job to teach her that calling the landlord is not an option. --76.178.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Rick [IN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 11:38 AM

This is the beauty of month-to-month leases.

1. I pay the plumber.

2. When tenant pays the rent, I tell them due to your negligence I'm raising rent next month what ever the plumber charged.

3. When that is paid, it may take two months, then the rent is reduced to the original amount.

4. If this a repeat occurrence, the rent stays up. --75.107.xxx.xx

Who pays here? (by OPM [OR]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 11:39 AM


Who pays here? (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 11:48 AM

She pays, but I can understand she may not have the funds immediately…although that’s a clue for the future that if anything goes wrong in her life she will miss a rent payment. I’d make it due with next month’s rent and add a modest service fee of maybe $20…this will force her to think about whether she can come up with it now some other way. I’d document the issue in writing and inform her (hopefully your lease says this already…point to the lease clause) that all funds received are first applied to fees, damages etc and if she therefore does not pay it she would be considered late on her rent.

As a second note, we only allow either our handyman (me) or a licensed professional to work on our property. The last thing you want is for her to call her cousin Rufus who says he can fix it and have him cause additional damage. --99.92.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 11:51 AM

Next ! --24.183.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 12:12 PM

I would tell her to plunge it,if she cant or wont i would send my people,i have a company that all they do is clogged drains,it would cost about $200 and she would have to repay me.Think about this,the company i hire is a guy with a van full of tools for clogged drains and his helper son.They told me they do about 6 calls a day 6 days a week,they only allow me and 1 other guy to mail them checks otherwise you have to be there to hand them a check or preferably cash. --74.77.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 12:36 PM

Sounds like a good gig,

without a college edumacation. --24.183.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 12:39 PM

I remind tenants at lease signing that I do not clog toilets and that they are responsible for all plumbing clogs. I would just simply remind her that she’s responsible for all plumbing stoppages and let her figure it out. --172.58.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Moshe [CA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 12:48 PM

The real problem here is not really of who pays, but of a faulty management structure that did not plan for this situation.

When choosing tenants, the LL must evaluate if the applicant can meet the financial obligations of living in the unit. There are more obligations than just rent. There may be repairs at tenants' expense, legal fees, utilities, illnesses, deaths, loss of jobs, other obligations, ... . Choice of tenants who can barely afford such a dwelling carries a risk that tenants who can pay rent but lack extra-expense-capability which results in problems like this.

1 months security deposit covers a months rent, but nothing else. Calculation of 3 times monthly rent as minimum income requirement doesn't allow for a better analysis of applicant's ability to pay. For those landlords who rent to minimum income applicants, these problems will always be present.


Who pays here? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 1:00 PM

Jason,the problem becomes in low income neighborhoods they might simply do nothing,i have seen people fill the toilet then start using the tub and blame the landlord.

Moshe,i agree with you but in certain neighborhoods this tenant he is talking about may be as good as it gets,they simply cant do anything for themselves --74.77.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 1:50 PM

Maybe she can't afford it all at once, but surely there's a payment plan she can afford. Spread it over 6 months. Add a handling or processing fee to each payment. --108.69.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 1:55 PM

The "COST" of plunging or snaking a toilet is minimal, compared to the "Disaster" a back up can cause when not dealt with immediately in a multi-unit or two story property.

Example: a downstairs unit notices before heading out to work the toilet is going down very slowly. So the tenant rushes off to work because each time they contact the property manager or owner, they get the third degree treatment and little help! They plan on calling but forget and the main line in part of the building is clogged so WATER from an upstairs unit gets trapped before the toilet blockage in the crawl space (or slab), causing the water to flow out of a downstairs drain (Shower, Sink or Toilet). This goes on for hours and will do extensive damage -- costing up to $10,000 to remediate.

Instead: I look at my records and say to my tenant, "This is your first time with a toilet blockage, and you admitted it was your fault! Because you were honest, I'm NOT GOING TO CHARGE YOU THIS TIME, but give me permission to have my plumber enter today to deal with the blockage".

This way I put my tenant on notice that I forgave my "Charge" and I got permission to enter so I can send my manager, handyman or snaking company over to deal with it. 90% of the time I'll just do it myself since I'm a licensed plumbing contractor.

(One client had a contract with a local snaking/line clearing company for $59 per service call. The client wanted the tenant to pay the worker themselves. The tenant didn't have the money so they never called for service. In this case the basement got flooded and destroyed a 100 gallon water heater, washer and dryer. Only $4000 vs $59. --47.156.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by RR78 [VA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 2:29 PM

Part of the business. Things happen.

We dont make a big deal about the small things. And especially anything with water. We want the tents to call.

Just send someone over. And charge them if they caused the problem. And just allow them to pay you within 30 days.

Not something I am going to add a fee to or make a profit from. We call and pay the plumber.

Try to be fair and have a good relationship with most tenants. Helps with long term tenants. The average stays over 8 years. --73.40.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by Pat [VA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 3:33 PM

We have absorbed the cost of our regular handyman that we trust & knows our properties. Usually it is a one time thing and we let it go. $&# happens, but it has usually been a child or grandchild that caused it.

If it happened more than once then I'd take a harder stance. --47.133.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 3:55 PM

Is the toilet really old and crusted inside with hard water chemicals which would slow the flush. I have a situation where two "big" ladies have the water in the tub staying a foot deep after showering. Did their downstairs sister really say they shower one after the other? Anyway I gave them a giant bottle of Drano Max and suggested they pour the whole thing down. Said it didn't work. I tried the two plunger technique and that didn't work. Water goes down but it takes a long while. So on Tuesday, All Clear is coming and I am paying. They did not have a trap over the hole in the tub but it went missing at some point over 20 years and I wasn't told and so there are 20 years of gunk in there. --108.24.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by Ed [CA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 4:13 PM

Just pay for the plumber and take it out of their cleaning deposit when they move.

I've had multiple rentals for almost 40 years - never had to evict anyone and never even been to court for my rentals.

At least she had the honesty to say it was her fault....that's better than 90% of the tenants out there.

Why make your tenant (who is being honest) your enemy? --108.201.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 4:57 PM

What does your rental agreement say about it?


Honestly - if it's the first time - I would go show her how to use the plunger & charge my $50 "frivolous" fee. (If she were polite and cooperative, I "might" waive the fee once.)

If that didn't do it, I would send the plumber and charge his fee - way more than $75!

Whatever fee is due for the service will be due on or before the next rent due date.

(But, truly, if it's the last 10 days or so, it is too late to make the change with Clearnow, so it would float to the next month.)

All money received is applied to any outstanding balance due, THEN to the current rent. If rent is unpaid (or partially paid), a notice of unpaid rent is sent, followed by a late fee and if it remains unpaid, a notice of non-renewal (month-to-month).


Who pays here? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 5:00 PM


If you take expenses like these "out of the security deposit when they leave", as some here repeatedly suggest, there will be no money left for damages after they leave.

And they will have no incentive to take better care while they are there. --68.229.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 5:17 PM

I agree with Moshe. This isn't a plumbing problem: this is a tenant selection problem.

Hire the plumber, and when she doesn't pay you evict. Your lease should address this. There is no reason not to follow through.

Some folks live too close to the edge. You don't want them in your place when they fall over. She's going to be gone in 1-2 months anyway. No reason to delay the inevitable.

Next time get a tenant who has margin in his/her budget. 3x the rent is minimum, but I also like to see at least $1000 per occupant of disposable income after all bills and my rent are paid. --172.56.xx.xx

Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 6:35 PM


I am sure you are aware that a large percentage of Americans (all classes too) do not have the financial resources to handle a $400.00 emergency. Of this same group, many of them can't even handle a $100.00 emergency. This is what I am dealing with here. This tenant has been with me for 4 years, she is on bi-monthly rent and she has a gambling habit (lottery) but that is beside the point.

This morning I called my plumber and told him I would pay him for this service call. --71.207.xxx.x

Who pays here? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 7:38 PM

Just my inexperienced thoughts.

If you punish her, next time she may not be so honest.

When I do lease signing day at the rental, I give them a move in binder and a few gifts. The gifts being, glass stove top cleaner, a scrub sponge for that, bathroom cleaner, a sponge for that, all purpose cleaner, roll of paper towels, roll of TP, a plunger, and a toilet scrub brush. I call it a gift, it is a hint. --73.120.xx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Homer [TX]) Posted on: Jun 10, 2022 7:53 PM

I may be the odd man out here. But I would go over and clear it myself. I clear well over 5 figures a month on my rentals after all my expenses. I can spare an hour away from my couch to go help a tenant out. They make me a GREAT deal of money. I know this isn’t the “ successful “ landlord method, but that’s just me. I am beyond blessed. --66.169.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Jun 11, 2022 9:22 AM

Lots of good points made here. I agree, it’s important not to rent to people who live paycheck to paycheck and/or who can’t manage their finances to cover a small charge like this.

But then again different markets cater to different kinds of people. When I tell my tenants my plumber will charge them $150 they almost always tell me, great, you just saved me $150 (because they’ve typically called a plumber themselves already and found out that’s what the going rate is).

Perhaps in my earlier years I would have covered the first event, or offered to split the cost, but not any more. They all pay below market rent, are still money makers but what has changed is me. I don’t need more money. I need peace and tranquility. And I’m not going to go over and plunge someone’s toilet out of the kindness of my heart. So while I’d fix the problem, they will pay, one way or the other.

Just another good example of there being no right or wrong answer. --75.89.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by tryan [MA]) Posted on: Jun 11, 2022 12:52 PM

After repeated clogs in a cheap (glacier bay) toilet, I left a toilet snake at one house. Taught the man of the house how to use it. Best $45 I ever spent. No more issues. --206.84.xx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Jun 11, 2022 1:31 PM

I get toilet unclogged for her first. Always deal with water emergencies. Then fall back on Lease. I do all drains for first occurrence and first 30 days. Afterwards, tenant is responsible. I pay plumber and bill tenant. I would reward this tenant for honesty and cover. Unless, this is repeat behavior. Teach to plunge, tell her what not to flush AGAIN, and let her know she now OWNS responsibility for the drain.

Along with plunging I have found that if there are two toilets on the sewer line, flushing the second toilet may help move the clog. In chemistry lab, to create suction we run a lot of water out of a faucet with a side port. Hooking a hose to the port gives you a reliable suction tube. So flushing a toilet on same line helps with a bit of suction.

I find those who clogs drains, repeat. They don't prevent grease or hair or food in drains. --216.23.xxx.xx

Who pays here? (by PG [SC]) Posted on: Jun 11, 2022 7:55 PM

As I scroll thru the post Roy has done exactly what I would do. - Fix the problem and get on with life.

If she has been a good tenant for 4 years - count your self lucky - And she did call you and not some jack leg who would make the situation worse.- for me it is all part of doing business. she is a check to check - so this sort of stuff is going to happen.


Who pays here? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jun 11, 2022 10:55 PM


I NEED good contractors.

($75 plumber service call?? Keep that guy HAPPY!)

I will pay his bill and add it to her rent over 30 days.

Back to real life, I tell the res to look up the problem on YouTube and buy a toilet snake at WalMart. Easy repairs and much cheaper than a plumber.

BRAD --73.103.xxx.xxx

Who pays here? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jun 12, 2022 9:02 AM


I do not want my tenants doing any plumbing repairs, especially using a snake of any kind. Most of the fixer houses I have bought and rehabbed, became fixer-uppers because some idiot thought they knew how to plumb or re-wire a house! The rehab I am finishing now is a great example. The previous owner had re-plumbed the house himself using cheap PVC pipe and did a horrible job. My master plumber had to remove everything he did and re-plumb it with the modern PEX pipes that will pass a rigorous plumbing inspection. --71.207.xxx.x

Who pays here? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jun 13, 2022 11:49 AM

Bleach is cheap and does a great job eating TP.

Are the sewer lines cast iron?


Who pays here? (by Patti [OK]) Posted on: Jun 13, 2022 12:15 PM

Just call the plumber and have them go look at the problem then call me when they know what the the problem is. If they tell me clodded up the toilet or sink we tell them to fix it. If it is the tenants fault we added the plumbing bill to there next rental payment. If they refuse to repay us then we send them a notice with a receipt of repayment for the service. It is 150.00 service fee just to come out plus whatever they have to do. --68.97.xxx.xx

Who pays here? (by Sue [IN]) Posted on: Jun 13, 2022 6:22 PM

Several thoughts on this situation. Great way to do spot check on property while meeting plumber there.

Might actually be roots in main drain instead of tenant's fault. My worse one was main drain on City side was blocked by tree roots and there wasn't anything I could do to resolve the problem except hire a commercial plumber to check it out and have them notify the city who checked it out and then we had to wait for the City to scheduled a repair which required alley to be torn up. Tenants suffered for weeks while the city took it's time resolving the problem. My expense was the commercial plumber who was necessary to diagnose the problem and get it to the proper city department to have the city do it's repairs. Tenants are still renting from me and I was responsible for the expense of the commercial plumber. --71.46.xxx.xxx

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