Tenant Left Me With A Drain Blocked With Shit

Note to self, don’t forget to thoroughly check all aspects of the plumbing during the final inspection before tenants vacate because you never know what unnecessary greasy shit is clogging the pipes.

My ex-tenants got me good this time. Real good. Fair play to them. Hope they get reincarnated as a carnivore’s toilet-brush.

To cut a long and heartbreaking story short, I had a family vacate a property after living there for 2 years. On their final day, I inspected the property, focusing on the usual areas; carpets, plumbing, condition of walls, windows, doors etc. Everything seemed hunkydory (do people still say that?).

A few days after they had vacated, I started painting a few of the rooms to give the house an aesthetic lift. Having successfully endured the grueling first day of labouring (someone as delicate and precious as me is not build to graft), I rinsed the paintbrushes and trays in the kitchen sink. While the water was running for several minutes, I could hear the drain outside the kitchen window overflowing (the kitchen is placed at the back of the house). I popped my curious melon out of the back door only to see tainted water overspilling onto the patio floor. The paint I was rinsing off was white, so it looked like an overspill of copious amounts of semen. It probably would have been amusing if it wasn’t my property and I was still 16. No such luck.

My hope was that it was just a light blockage, which required the aid of an industrial solvent. I purchased a ghastly cocktail for £10 that my plumber had recommended. Ironically, the solution resembled diarrhea in every possible way. I poured the entire contents down the drain while pinching my nostrils while preying to God the fumes don’t make their way into my senses. It did NOT smell good.

The instructions advised it could take up to 12 hours to take affect.

*I wait*

I returned the next day to see if the problem had been resolved. The water level had reduced, and there was no visible blockage.

“I swear to God i’ll be good for the rest of the week if this works” You know, Karma and all that crap.

I ran the water again for several minutes only to be reunited with the same overflowing pool of semen. For Fuck’s sake! Now I’m going to have to pay a professional.

I quickly contacted Dyno Rod, drainage specialists (notorious for being ridiculously expensive). They came over like the Ghostbusters with various poles and water jets. After 30mins of prodding and blasting, they eventually diagnosed and resolved the problem. Apparently, 15 meters into the drain pipes, there was an unhealthy and dangerous build-up of rice and deposits of congealed fat.

My previous tenants basically poured rice and fat down the sink during their 2 year tenancy, and this was the result. They’re a Ghanaian family, and their diet largely consisted of traditional Ghanaian cuisine, such as rice and highfat curry dishes.

There was actually nothing I could do to recoup the money because I had given them the all-clear after the inspection. I had to take the £150 Dyno Rod fee on the chin. But I didn’t take it like a man, because evidently I’m having a mental masturbation about it on here.

Bloody idiots. What kind of people pour rice and fat down the sink? Idiots, that’s what kind.

Annoyingly, my tenants MUST have known about the problem. No doubt the blockage surfaced every time they ran the tap for several minutes, specifically when washing the dishes. Conveniently, they failed to mention the problem to me. Perhaps they forgot. Right.

The thing is, how many landlords actually run the water for several minutes during an inspection? I’m not sure many do. Moreover, for those with managed properties, do lettings agents do that during a final inspection? I usually just run the taps to check the water-flow consistency and pressure levels.

Was it the perfect crime, or negligence from the landlord? You could probably argue either.

Shit cleared, lesson learned, and I’ve added it to the tenant vacating checklist.

Onto the next.

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8 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Nick 14th October, 2011 @ 07:19

Well very true said . It's very hard to win over tenants .

1
Guest Avatar
emma 14th October, 2011 @ 08:06

Landlord - Do you have a check list on here anywhere that we can use for when tenents vacate. Its things like this that you forget but which cost alot to repair/replace.

2
Guest Avatar
Ginster 14th October, 2011 @ 09:42

...I still say 'Hunkydory' from time to time :-)

3
Guest Avatar
Ginster 14th October, 2011 @ 09:43

Do you also check things like washing machines and dishwashers etc during the check out process?

4
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th October, 2011 @ 10:19

@Emma
I haven't put one up, but I actually do have one, which I updated based on this incident. I'll upload it for others to use in the coming week :)

@Ginster
None of my properties come with dishwashers and/or washing machines. But it would make good sense to test them. I imagine the process is a bit annoying and time-consuming, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

5
Guest Avatar
Armin 3rd November, 2011 @ 12:17

You might find that grease blockage can often be overcome with thick bleach and hot water.

So instead of £10 for a branded clog solver, consider spending £5 on 5 bottles of thick bleach and bring your hot water kettle.

I'm sure if you Google around you can find better instructions than mine, but what I usually do is
1. 1 kettle of hot water
2. wait a few mins
3. 1 entire bottle of thick bleach
4. wait a few mins
5. 1 kettle of hot water

So far that always took care of the problem. I never actually had to use more than 1 bottle of bleach, the number 5 was arbitrary.

Worth a shot imho.

6
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shikira 28th May, 2012 @ 18:30

I always cooked in Olive Oil and still do - threw out the remaining stuff with a hot bowl of water.

The other tenants didn't give a f***k and just did what they felt - often pouring it down the sink and overriding the entire kitchen and household with their friends. I used to leave noted on the kitchen tiles reminding them not do this 'pouring of fat' and to not leave washing up in piles and piles so that you couldn't get to the sink yourself.

Many times I tried to resolve common issues as one the eldest - I had always lived in my own properties before this, or became a landlady of others properties, so nothing shocked me, just annoyed the hell out of me. Some of these tenants were rude, lazy and took drugs - I tried to handle this on my own and often running into direct conflict with other tenants.

I rarely let the landlord know what was taking place, yet because I wanted him to think I could handle these issues on my own and not bother him with triviality. However, some of the tenants had begun despising me and accusing me of being the landlord's best friend because I cared too much about what occurred: they hid my food; toilet paper, played amusing games until I began doing the very same back to them.

I had no option but to evacuate after intolerance levels reached a terrible climax. I had paid the wife of landlord my outstanding rent, yet was £100 short. I assumed he knew of this and of the fact that there were good reasons for me to leave without notice - he and I became enemies from this point onwards, yet only because he believed that I still owed him an entire amount of money!. I played it cool, not wanting him to think I was being a push-over - him asking for more than what was due to him.

We haven't spoken in six or seven years and although I still have very deep feelings for him, he chose to believe his wife over me - cash was paid in hand.

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Guest Avatar
tenant 13th April, 2013 @ 21:55

Realise this thread is extremely old but as a (hopefully) responsible tenant old like to thank armin for ur advice. Worked a treat with my kitchen sink!

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