If the sewer is flooding in my bedroom, is that my responsibility to fix?

I recently signed a lease for 12 months. My bedroom is in the basement of my rental property and when water is run the sewer comes up through the main drain. My LL says I am responsible.

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Are you responsible for the flooding? That is, did you do anything "wrong"--whether deliberately or carelessly/accidentally (negligently) whic caused the back-up and flooding? For example, did you flush anything--like diapers, clothing, a plastic bag, etc.--which caused a clog and back-up. Or knowing that there is some problem with how the water drains, did you simultanously shower, run the dishwasher or clothing washer, and flush the toilet, causing more water to go down than the system can handle?  If you caused the flooding, you would be responsible; if you did not cause it, however, then you would not be responsible to fix it or for the costs, unless and only to the extent that you specifically agreed (e.g. in the lease) to take on this responsibility. Otherwise, it is the landlord's responsibility and cost.


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