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Ratbuell
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 02:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

So, I own a rental property and it has a septic system. Lived there myself for 17 years, never had to pump it, worked flawlessly...but the last 16 months, Mother Nature has turned the state into a soaking wet sponge and the tank needs pumped quarterly at least these days.

Question for the collective - who pays for the pumping, in your mind? Landlord? Or tenant?

Discuss... : )
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Airbozo
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 02:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I would say landlord as the septic is an essential part of the property and is part of the overall value.

I have a septic system and rule of thumb is to pump it at least every 4 years since not everything breaks down. I typically wait until just before the rains start, so as much of the liquid as possible is already out of the tank. Septic systems fail here all the time due to non/poor maintenance and will quickly get your house red tagged for being non-inhabitable. A new system can cost over $30k to replace (tank and leech field). If maintained they can last a very long time.

The redwoods in my area work wonders to suck all the moisture out of the leach field and keeps everything working.
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Court
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 04:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Landlord . . .it's normal maintenance. . . . but, it's also pretty cheap (I paid $250) to do.
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S2t_bama
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 06:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Quarterly??? That's crazy.

Wow, I think something may be wrong with your field line.

Maybe the tenant is running stuff down that is killing the bacteria?
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Airbozo
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 06:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Folks near me have had to do it quarterly the last few years because of the ground saturation issue here too. When the ground is soaked, the leech field does not work.

I'm blessed with several groves of redwoods that suck up the water year round. Still have had some issues with water flowing into the inspection holes though. Something else to fix this summer.
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Etennuly
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 06:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

I would say land Lord the first round, but if the system has been known to be good and your tennant does questionable things it could fall to them with a written warning. Dumping copious amounts of grease or items like diapers could make them liable from a standpoint of negligence.

You may have a plugged leach field from rainwater back up. Or possibly a vent is plugged.

If both sides of the tank were full of water to the leach drain, the system should still work unless the leach field is compromised.

Pumping a septic tank is done to remove built up settled solids, not water. When water cannot flow out system fails.
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Ratbuell
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 08:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Plumbers have been in. Septic contractors. County inspectors. Perc test.

They hit water at 4".

Not a "broken system"...just one that Mother Nature has effectively moved to the bottom of a lake.

I was leaning towards the utility-bill side of perspective - I don't pay their electric, nor their cable, nor would I pay their gas or water if there was any on the property (it's a well, with electric/pellet stove heat - I maintain the stove motors etc, they buy the pellets; I maintain the well pumps). And, I wouldn't pay their sewer bill if the place was on city sewer - it's a consumption utility. Repairs, I'd pay - if it was a broken system. Replacement, I'd pay - if I could get a perc and if a new system would work while...well..underwater.

Just wondering about perspective. Thanks for the input.
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Aesquire
Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019 - 09:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

All the houses around me have raised perc beds. Clay soil, fails the perc test.

My house has a creek on one side and spring is wet. I have another month before it's safe to mow. Maybe not till mid May. The tractor just sinks in. Today, I can walk most of the yard. Next week? I won't be able to get to the shed without sinking to my ankles.. The bike won't Come out until it dries.

But my leech field drains.

I had a buddy spill coffee on my basement carpet Wed. No problem, if the sump pump doesn't fail in a week, ( I keep a spare ) I'll hose it down and shop vac it clean. My ground water is nice and clear. Safe? Ha! But clear.

My well water should be so nice.
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Ourdee
Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 01:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

Landlord
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Cupcake_mike
Posted on Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 02:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Custodian/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Custodian/Admin only)

its your responsibility as the landlord.

Think of this way, if a pipe burst in the house, through no fault of the tenets, guess who'd be stuck with cleaning/fixing it up? Landlord, right? Well that is exactly whats happening, the plumbing isnt working, the landlord has to fix it.

I don't see how you'd be justified in expecting the tenet to pay anyway, as this sort of thing would have to be spelled out ahead of time in the lease agreement, not after the fact, like you are contending.
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