Its amazing how many times I’ve heard this from a potential landlord “I don’t want to unclog toilets at midnight!” Its a common myth that landlords have to deal with emergencies such as these in the middle of the night.
It is true that you might have to deal with some emergency in the middle of the night. But, thankfully, unclogging toilets is not one of them. Washington State has some pretty clear requirements for how long landlords have to respond to tenant’s when they have a problem. The minimum response time is 24 hours, and that is for emergencies such as loss of water or heat. Clogged toilets don’t count as one of these emergencies. In fact, clogged toilets may be just the kind of maintenance issue you tell tenants is their responsibility to take care of.
This is just one of the issues we cover in our Landlord 101 class. Check out this video recorded in our last class. We go over the subject of ongoing relationship with tenants, including the landlord’s responsibilities for dealing with clogged toilets and other maintenance issues.