Who is responsible for the septic tank backing up at a rental?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who is responsible for the septic tank backing up at a rental?

Asked on March 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is responsible for the costs/repairs to the septic tank.

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is for the tenant to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The septic tank backing up is a health and safety issue and therefore constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  It would also be advisable to contact the local housing code inspector who can pursue enforcement of the housing code and require the landlord to repair/replace the septic tank.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption