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  • FIRST POST
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 9th May 18, 9:39 PM
    • 939Posts
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    ProDave
    Who pays to empty septic tank? Landlord or tenant?
    • #1
    • 9th May 18, 9:39 PM
    Who pays to empty septic tank? Landlord or tenant? 9th May 18 at 9:39 PM
    So we rent our old house.

    The septic tank is due to be emptied. Who pays?

    The Tenant pays for their water charges (here in Scotland, included with the council tax bill) If the house was on mains sewage, that too would be included with the council tax bill, and so the tenant would pay.

    So we think the tenant should pay the bill to have the septic tank pumped out. Right or wrong?
Page 1
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 9th May 18, 9:41 PM
    • 4,663 Posts
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    csgohan4
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 9:41 PM
    • #2
    • 9th May 18, 9:41 PM
    or perhaps you should put it as part of the rent at the start to avoid getting the tenant to pay anything extra as it may sour the relationship potentially
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 9th May 18, 9:43 PM
    • 784 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    Slithery
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 9:43 PM
    • #3
    • 9th May 18, 9:43 PM
    So we rent our old house.
    Originally posted by ProDave
    Do you mean you let your old house?

    What does your tenancy agreement have to say on the matter?
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 9th May 18, 10:37 PM
    • 939 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 10:37 PM
    • #4
    • 9th May 18, 10:37 PM
    Do you mean you let your old house?

    What does your tenancy agreement have to say on the matter?
    Originally posted by Slithery
    Yes we let the old house.

    Not mentioned in the agreement because we did not think about it at the time.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 9th May 18, 10:49 PM
    • 939 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 10:49 PM
    • #5
    • 9th May 18, 10:49 PM
    It is not specifically mentioned in the TIP or the tenancy agreement, as I say we did not think of it and who would be responsible.
    • ThePants999
    • By ThePants999 9th May 18, 10:52 PM
    • 1,209 Posts
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    ThePants999
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 10:52 PM
    • #6
    • 9th May 18, 10:52 PM
    What exactly does the agreement say about other bills?

    If it says the tenant pays all bills, I'd be trying to claim that includes this. If it lists bills, and doesn't include this one, I think it's on you.
    • wesleyad
    • By wesleyad 10th May 18, 8:14 AM
    • 244 Posts
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    wesleyad
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 8:14 AM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 8:14 AM
    I'd say how often it needs emptied also comes into it (I have no idea how often this is).

    If it's once a year then it seems reasonable that tenant pays, but say it's once every few years then you could end with situation of asking tenant to pay to empty previous tenants waste.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 10th May 18, 9:04 AM
    • 8,055 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 9:04 AM
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 9:04 AM
    This blog from Safe Deposits Scotland may be helpful:

    http://www.safedepositsscotland.com/blog-admin/2016/02/29/february-adjudication-digest-plumbing-the-depths/

    If a landlord wishes to make the tenant responsible for the cost of emptying the tank at the end of the tenancy, they should ensure that it has been emptied for the start of the tenancy and retain documentary evidence that this is the case. The lease should also make the tenant's obligation in this respect clear.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 10th May 18, 9:08 AM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 9:08 AM
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 9:08 AM
    Looks like its on you OP. I hope your tenants see this!
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 10th May 18, 9:12 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    need an answer
    What sort of cost are we talking about to empty it?
    The fact that you didn't consider it when drawing up the tenancy might indicate on this occasion you should pay the bill morally and ensure you document the charges associated with it in any forward tenancy.
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    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 10th May 18, 9:27 AM
    • 939 Posts
    • 1,056 Thanks
    ProDave
    The cost is about 150 every 2 years, so this is the first time it has needed doing since the tenants have been in (it was our own home before then). They would pay more than that per year if the property was connected to mains drainage.
    • Gilead
    • By Gilead 10th May 18, 9:35 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    Gilead
    If not mentioned explicitly in the contract I would think it was LL responsibility. If it is in contract, was it emptied immediately prior to them moving in - if not, how long before they moved in was it emptied i.e. you would need to pro rata their contribution.

    It sounds like you didn't consider it prior to leasing, so you should pay it, and amend the contract at renewal.
    • macman
    • By macman 10th May 18, 9:44 AM
    • 42,033 Posts
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    macman
    Did you empty it before the tenants occupied the property?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • AylesburyDuck
    • By AylesburyDuck 10th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • 798 Posts
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    AylesburyDuck
    Are they good tenants who pay rent on time, and dont hassle you with stupid requests ect, because to my mind, if they are,and even if legally you could wriggle out of it, id be (as its your mistake for not even thinking of it) paying that myself. Whats 150 quid every 2 years compared to upsetting the apple cart and your next tenants (if they leave) being the tenants from hell.
    If they are actually the tenants from hell.............
    ,
    Fully paid up member of the ignore button club.
    If it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck, it's a Duck.
    • Naf
    • By Naf 10th May 18, 10:36 AM
    • 3,038 Posts
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    Naf
    I'd say how often it needs emptied also comes into it (I have no idea how often this is).

    If it's once a year then it seems reasonable that tenant pays, but say it's once every few years then you could end with situation of asking tenant to pay to empty previous tenants waste.
    Originally posted by wesleyad

    This was exactly my first thought.

    Are they at least aware that there is a tank and that it is time to get it done?
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
    - Mark Twain
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon: no matter how good you are at chess, its just going to knock over the pieces and strut around like its victorious.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 10th May 18, 10:45 AM
    • 939 Posts
    • 1,056 Thanks
    ProDave
    Yes I probably will just pay it and learn from the experience. It just seems "wrong" that they would pay if it were on mains drainage so you would think it would normally expect it to be the tenants responsibility.

    At least if I organise it and pay, I know it's done, an no chance of the tenant "forgetting" to get it done and ending up with other problems.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 10th May 18, 11:01 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    need an answer
    What was "wrong" was the fact you forgot about the tank when sorting out the rental of the property.

    Maybe if you feel that the tenant in future is likely to "forget" you could add 6.25 to the monthly rental payment to cover the cost!
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    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 10th May 18, 11:10 AM
    • 2,029 Posts
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    shortcrust
    Perhaps not very MSE of me, but for the sake of happy tenants I wouldn't twice about absorbing a cost of 75 quid a year for something like that.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th May 18, 11:20 AM
    • 20,495 Posts
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    agrinnall
    I've said this in previous threads, but the septic tank serving 6 properties where I lived was not emptied at all in the 10 years that I was there, so I really don't understand why other people seem to feel they need to be emptied every year or two.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 10th May 18, 11:29 AM
    • 658 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    pinklady21
    Our septic tank has not been emptied in the 7 years we have lived here. We were advised to leave it alone, as it is working fine. Every time it is emptied, the microbes take a while to rebalance and do their job, apparently.
    Ours is a fairly elderly brick built chamber tank, rather than a modern plastic one, which may be a different kettle of microbes.
    Agree with others, if the agreement is silent, then the landlord will pay. However nothing stopping you increasing the rent to cover the cost of it, assuming you don't mind hacking off your tenant a bit!
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