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Who Is Responsible For A Blocked Drain

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A Blocked Drain is an issue which people have to resolve quickly before it leads to further issues. The tenant, landlord, homeowner, Sydney Water, and the local council all have their responsibilities with blocked drains. Whatever the case, Optimised Plumbing Services is here with our blocked drain services to help with blockages. We have been working in Sydney for over 20 years and can be called at any time to deal with blocked drains or answer any questions. Blocked drains with tenants present are the landlord’s responsibility to fix, however, if the problem was from the tenant then it is theirs. Sydney Water will resolve community blocked drains/ sewers but the property owner is responsible for blockages on their land. Also, the local council can be called to notice a person if they have not resolved their own blockages.

Tenants and Landlords with Blocked Drains

Most often the landlords are required to pay for the repairs of a blocked drain within the building. Before the tenants move into the place the landlord must make sure that the drains are healthy and unblocked. During the lease, landlords are also responsible for maintaining the drainage systems through regular plumbing maintenance. Tenants, however, are required to make sure that issues are prevented from happening.There are two categories of repairs: emergency and general maintenance, each have laws under who is responsible for dealing with them. With regards to emergency repairs, such as a blocked toilet, the NSW tenant factsheet states that the landlord needs to handle the situation. Emergency repairs need to be notified to the landlord quickly so they can quickly arrange an Emergency Plumber to help. If they are unavailable then the tenant must handle the problem themselves, such as calling the blocked drain plumber.    If the tenant paid for the blocked drain repair then the landlord is required to reimburse the costs within two weeks. This can only happen if:

  • The problem was not the fault of the tenants but of the landlord’s drains, such as from poor maintenance
  • When contacting the landlord to help with the situation it was done at a ‘reasonable’ attempt
  • The landlord could have fixed the issue/ called for a blocked drain specialist
  • Someone in the tenancy agreement of a licensed plumber is of higher certification/ licensing completed the repair

When the blocked drain was actually the tenant’s fault the landlord is not needed to pay for the costs. Such as if items are flushed down a toilet the tenant could be the one responsible for the issue. However, if the tenants have newly moved in then there is little evidence that they caused the blockage. This is because blocked drains usually occur after longer periods of time, most likely by previous tenants. Most cases, the landlord will be the one paying/ being responsible for handling the blocked drain.  For more information on when to call an emergency plumber, our blog article is perfect for understanding when to call. 

Sydney Water and Property Owners with Blocked Drains

When blocked drains, usually a blocked sewer, occurs the responsibility to handle it is either Sydney Water or the homeowner. Water companies like Sydney Water work to maintain the health of the wastewater systems and sewer mains. With regards to homeowners, however, they are the ones who maintain pipes and alike in their property’s boundary. This means that property owners handle the pipes in their land up to the connection main. Therefore, Sydney Water handles pipe issues from there and other community drainage systems. Blocked sewers, such as from tree root damage or a build-up of debris, will be handled depending on the location. Similarly, private wastewater pipes, those in the property’s area, which experience blockages then the homeowner must deal with the issue. This often means contracting a blocked drain plumber to solve the dilemma and paying for the costs themselves. In contrast, if the sewage blockage is in the public wastewater lines then Sydney Water deals with the situation. When not knowing where the blockage is, either in the property or outside, a plumber can be called to help. With using CCTV techniques, the licensed plumber will be easily able to see where the issue is then the homeowner can act accordingly. Here at Optimised Plumbing Services, our plumbers can be called out to assist with finding where the blockage is in the drainage

Local Councils and Blocked Drains

The local council themselves will not do anything to resolve a blocked drain but they have the authority to direct someone in resolving blockages. If there have been complaints that a property owner is not responsibly performing maintenance or repairs then the council can be called. They will place issues and notices for the property owner to repair broken pipes and resolve blocked drains. These notices are placed to ensure the property and neighbouring lands are kept healthy and safe. Therefore, a licensed plumber would need to be called out as soon as possible to handle the issues addressed. Additionally, the property owner will be the one paying for all the expenses, such as labour costs, which are involved in the process.   

Sydney Blocked Drain Specialists

During all hours of the day, Optimised Plumbing Services will be able to resolve all blocked drain concerns. Our 24 hour service is open to all Sydney suburbs where we can deal with blocked drains in any environment. We guarantee that our affordable and reliable services will be the best for each person who needs a blocked drain resolved fast. We are able to provide blocked drain support across all of Sydney, including the North Shore and Greater Western Sydney. Contact us on 02 8074 1475 or email us at to have as perform all blocked drain tasks. We promise that our licensed plumbers will be there on time and apply the best techniques/ methods for the job. No matter the location, time or difficulty of the job we will always deliver high quality blocked drain support.

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