A Renters Guide to Plumbing Emergencies

Renting a house or an apartment is typically ideal for people who are undecided as to whether or not they want to establish roots in the area. It is also an ideal way to save money if the rent payment is cheaper than a mortgage, allowing you some time to put money aside for a down payment.

What most people don’t realize though, is that renting a home or apartment also takes away some of the burdens of home repairs, like floods and plumbing emergencies.

Landlords tend to keep this tidbit of information quiet so as not to eat into profits. This is why you should know your rights as a renter! We are going to take a brief look at what those rights are and the possible laws surrounding them. Keep reading for more information!



When a lease or rental agreement is signed, there is a basic understanding that the dwelling will be livable.

If the home is not inhabitable due to plumbing, electric, or heating issues, it must be repaired by the landlord.

This means that a plumbing emergency is URGENT and the landlord is legally obligated to repair it quickly.

For instance, if you have a burst pipe and your home floods, this situation is unlivable. The landlord needs to have the pipe repaired and if mold growth is a result of the flood, the landlord must have it removed as well.



We hope you never have to deal with a burst pipe and any associated flooding, but the truth is plumbing problems happen every day.

These problems can be in the form of a clogged sink or toilet, a leaky faucet, or other small issues.

Typically, the repair of these issues is covered by the tenant up until a certain price point. If the first problem leads to the discovery of a bigger underlying issue, the responsibility returns to the landlord.

Although you may be responsible for smaller problems in the home, this still may be cheaper than owning a home and having to pay for ALL related costs.


localrulesEvery city, county, and state is different when it comes to tenants’ rights and landlords’ responsibilities.

Some areas may have codes and regulations in place to ensure rental properties are well taken care of. Other areas do not have these regulations or don’t have the people to enforce them.

Regardless, it is almost always the landlord’s responsibility to provide an adequate home. You cannot withhold rent in order to force the landlord to repair something because they can file for eviction.

However, some states have the ‘right to deduct’ that enables you to pay for the repair and deduct it from the next month’s rent. This can be a tricky tactic and should only be used with proper legal advice.


Sometimes there can be a pressing and urgent problem that springs up. If the landlord doesn’t quickly fix it, the issue might cause damage to your property and not just the rental property. If that is the case, you need to quickly call a professional and not risk waiting for the landlord.

Call Service Plumbing Inc for all of your urgent and not so urgent plumbing needs! We want to hear about the worst plumbing emergency you’ve had in a rental– so let us know!