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Plumbing Laws

Plumbing problems can make it very difficult for individuals to reside in a residential property. If the plumbing issues are not addressed at the right time, it can mess up the residential property and sometimes, even force the tenants to move out of the property. Most of the times, tenants are faced with the question of who would be responsible for home plumbing problems. Is the tenant liable for the plumbing problem or is it the landlord. Given below are similar questions about plumbing laws that are most commonly asked by people.

Can an Individual Discount his/her Rent if the Plumbing of the Whole Building is Broken?

According to plumbing laws, an individual will be able to discount his/her rent if the plumbing of the whole building breaks only if he/she is able to prove that the building lacks the affirmative standard characteristics listed in Section 1941.1 and violates Section 17920.10 of the Health and Safety Code. He may have to get a public officer responsible for the enforcement of any Housing Law to inspect the premises and notify the landlord in writing about his/her obligation to repair the substandard condition. The tenant may have to prove that the condition has been there without repair for 35 days or more from the date the complaint was given. The tenant may also have to prove that the plumbing issue was not caused by him/her. The other option that the tenant may have is to sue the landlord in a small claims court for the diminished value of the rental property based on the time for which the plumbing problems have existed.

Who would be Responsible for any Plumbing Problems that would Occur in the Walls Outside the Apartment?

In most situations, the condominium owner would not own anything that is outside the walls of the apartment. That area may be considered as the common area and would be the responsibility of the condominium association. Hence, if there are plumbing problems on the walls outside the apartment, it may be the liability of the condominium association and not the owner of the apartment.

Who would be Responsible for any Repairs to the Areas that may be Affected due to Plumbing Repairs?

As per the plumbing laws, the people who may be responsible for repairing the plumbing issues would also be responsible for any repairs to the surrounding areas that may be affected.

Can a Tenant get a Copy of the Plumbing Report for Repairs that was done to his/her Apartment?

If the landlord or the landlord’s insurance company pays for the plumbing repairs in the apartment, then he/she may not be obligated to give the tenant a copy of the plumbing report. However, if the tenant submits a claim to his/her own insurance company for any damage to personal property due to the plumbing issue, then the insurance company may obtain a copy of the plumbing report from the tenant or the landlord.

What can an Individual do if the Landlord does not Repair any Plumbing Issue that may be there in the Apartment?

If the landlord refuses to solve the plumbing issues in an apartment, the tenant may document the problems that are there in the apartment and send them in a written notice to the landlord. He/she may also mention what steps he/she had taken previously to get the management to solve the issue. He/she may send this letter to the landlord by certified mail, return receipt requested. The tenant may also document any plumbing issue in the house using video, photos or getting a third party like a plumber to give an opinion on the issue. The tenant may inform the landlord that since no action was taken on the landlord’s part to solve the plumbing issue, he/she may be moving out due to breach of warranty of habitability.

The cause of the plumbing problem in a property can help determine who is responsible for it and who needs to pay for it. Not knowing what ones rights and duties are as far as plumbing issues are concerned can lead to individuals unnecessarily taking up responsibility for problems that they are not liable to. Having knowledge about the different provisions of the plumbing laws will help individuals take the right steps in solving their various plumbing issues.
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