Q: If I am renting a home in Utah and paid a plumber to unclog a drain is the bill my responsibility or the landlords?
I addressed the problem to the land lord prior to making the work order to a plumber service and was told it was my responsibility. But upon reviewing the lease terms again it states that I am responsible to reimburse the land lord for the cost of any repairs caused by misuse or neglect. Is using the bathroom known as misuse or neglect?
A: It is difficult to give you a definitive answer without reviewing your lease. Under Utah law, many parts of the Landlord-Tenant relationship can be controlled by the lease. If the lease says nothing, you are stuck. The person who pays for the repair is often left holding the bag. If the landlord refused to do the repair, you could argue the home is not liveable, and that you should be free to terminate the lease and move out. The portion of the lease you described won't help you, but it might be used against you.
The question is how the plumbing failed. Did a child or pet drop a toy in a toilet? Or was there simply a slow buildup in pipes that needed normal maintenance to function? Your plumber can tell you what he discovered and you can use that to make your argument with your landlord.
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