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 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.
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be contrued as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.