I own an apartment
in Washington DC and it is managed by a managing agent.
I rented the apartment and the lease states that the tenant is responsible for unclogging the drains in his unit once this one becomes blocked.
Recently this has happened and the tenant called a contractor
, without notifying the managing agent or myself , to unblock the drain. The contractor, according to the tenant , found out that the blockage of the drain was not originated in the apartment but it came from the main building drainage
whose responsibility of the repair is of the landlord ( I am the owner also of the building ).
In accordance to this the tenant claims that it is up to me to pay the cost of the repair of the clogged drainage pipe and consequently deducted the amount he paid to the contractor ( $ 486.00 ) from his August rental payment .
I do not agree with this as I feel that the tenant should have immediately acknowledged me or the managing agent of the fact that according to his contractor the blockage came from the building main drainage pipe and not from the one in his apartment. If he would have done this I would have had the possibility first of all to send a contractor of my confidence to ascertain whether this claim was real or not and then if this was true to get an other estimate of the work from my contractor that it might have been cheaper that the one of the tenant:s contractor.
As I intend to deduct the cost of the repair from the tenant,s deposit please advise me whether I can successfully defend myself in a court of law in case the tenant will sue me.