If the septic backed up into the shower/tub in the house I’m renting, am I supposed to clean up this toxic waste or is the landlord supposed to?

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If the septic backed up into the shower/tub in the house I’m renting, am I supposed to clean up this toxic waste or is the landlord supposed to?

I already cleaned one tub but my mother told me not to clean the second because the landlord is supposed to clean toxic waste. This is the second time it has happened and the landlord is aware of the situation.

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The issue isn't whether it's "toxic" waste or  not; it's who is responsible for the overflow. If the problem is that the septic field is too full, or that there is a problem with the line to  it (e.g. roots in the line), or anything else that would come under the rubric of "maintenance," then it should be the landlord's responsibility. If the problem is that you somehow did something wrong to cause this (and I know nothing about how septic system's operate, so if this example makes no sense, apologies), such as by flushing something you should not have, then it would be your responsibility.


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