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scoander

Renter Pays for Labor?

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scoander

We rent one half of a duplex in Cebu City.  Just the other day, water has begun backing up out of the floor drain in the bathroom.  The landlady has sent the usual crew, who've done nothing but talk about the problem.  There eventually will be something done, but my wife tells me that we'll have to pay for the labor!  I know it can't be much, but is this legal?  It's their house, not ours.  Any thoughts on this, and what is the actual law?

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oztony
3 minutes ago, scoander said:

We rent one half of a duplex in Cebu City.  Just the other day, water has begun backing up out of the floor drain in the bathroom.  The landlady has sent the usual crew, who've done nothing but talk about the problem.  There eventually will be something done, but my wife tells me that we'll have to pay for the labor!  I know it can't be much, but is this legal?  It's their house, not ours.  Any thoughts on this, and what is the actual law?

They are possibly trying to make it that you are the cause of the blocked drain ... therefore have to pay , the repair is the total responsibility of the landlord ... unless you are somehow at fault and have caused the problem ... washing the dog in the bathroom multiple times and the trap in the drain has clogged up with dog hair ..etc.etc. 

Quite often just a plunger sorts out these type of issues , I have to attend to the one in our shower approx once a year , wife and daughter with lots of long hair ....

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)

How long have you been there?  If a while I would say it's your fault so that's justified.  I would first find out what they plan to do and charge.  If it's just snaking the drain probably not much.  If they're going to tear up the floor and repipe it you may want to live with it or snake it yourself or whatever.

There's a drain cleaner Liquid Plumber type thing here that works pretty good.  Forgot the name.  Get as much water out as possible and pour it in.  Wait a while and then force water down with a hose.  Don't breath the fumes.

Edited by SkyMan

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scoander

I'm not there, so I'm getting this from my wife.  We've been there less than a year.  I'm not sure what the problem is.  My wife claims the water stops coming out when she turns off the water, which makes no sense.  I need more detail, but still, we're not paying.

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Paddy

In another country the OP could insist the landlord fix the problem and expect to be backed up by the local municipality, rental laws etc. Unless it’s demonstrated that the renter has misused the property, the landlord would have to pay.

However...that logic is unlikely to work here. 

Similarly, drainage design here is sadly lacking (air behind water, installation of a P or U trap with an accessible clean out etc. anyone?)

The OP has several courses of action open:

- wait (probably forever) until the landlady fixes it

- fix it himself (it’s his family living there after all)

- move

- invest in a plunger and a good squeegee

- as mentioned, go get some liquid plumber and try that

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SkyMan
55 minutes ago, scoander said:

I'm not sure what the problem is.  My wife claims the water stops coming out when she turns off the water, which makes no sense. 

Yeah, you need more on this.  The water comes out of the drain when the valve is turned on?  Sounds like a bigger problem than just a clogged drain.

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TimL
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, scoander said:

We rent one half of a duplex in Cebu City.  Just the other day, water has begun backing up out of the floor drain in the bathroom.  The landlady has sent the usual crew, who've done nothing but talk about the problem.  There eventually will be something done, but my wife tells me that we'll have to pay for the labor!  I know it can't be much, but is this legal?  It's their house, not ours.  Any thoughts on this, and what is the actual law?

What does it say in your lease regarding repairs? I rent a condo here in Cebu and have had a  few drain issues. I just buy liquid drain cleaner and pour it down the drain and so far, that has always cleared this problem. In fact, I go a step further by pouring a maintenance dose down the bathroom sink and tub drains once a month and haven’t had a clogged drain since. Drains here are not like they are in the west so hair, shaving, too much toilet paper, etc. can be an issue here where we barely give it a thought at home.

Edited by TimL

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Salty Dog

This from my last lease in Cebu City from a guy who owns property and leases them as a business. My previous leases in Dumaguete had nothing like this in the lease.

Quote

1.    SANITATION AND REPAIR – the LESSEES shall keep the unit and its premises clean and in sanitary condition and shall take good care of the leased premises.  The LESSOR agrees to keep the premises in good and tenantable condition and shall be responsible for the necessary repairs including those resulting from normal use, to include appliances, furnishings, fittings, hardware, electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and cooling.  Likewise, LESSEES acknowledges that the same is in good and tenantable condition and agrees to keep the same in all respect.  MINOR repairs shall be at the exclusive expense of the LESSEES.

Notice it says minor repairs are the Lessee's responsibility.

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TimL
5 minutes ago, Salty Dog said:

This from my last lease in Cebu City from a guy who owns property and leases them as a business. My previous leases in Dumaguete had nothing like this in the lease.

Notice it says minor repairs are the Lessee's responsibility.

That’s what I’m used to seeing also, minor repairs. That seems certainly fair unless your chilling in an Airbnb or something but even with that, I still have them come change blown lightbulbs at their expense. They haven’t complained yet but maybe that has more to do with me staying in tight with the maintenance guys. 

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GBT62

My new duplex lease states Major repairs are owner's responsibility, minor repairs are mine.    Major and Minor are not defined anywhere of course.

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Dafey

Does the other half of the duplex have the same issues? Are you sharing a septic tank?

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wondersailor

Do you have a lease or are you month to month ? What does your lease agreement say. If the repairmen work for the landlord I would doubt a charge will be seen by you. In the Philippines it is pretty much what you can negotiate with the landlord. No tenent bill of rights here. Your only other option is to pack up and move at the end of the month. But you probably will find the same thing at your next place.

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to_dave007

Have seen multiple situations here in province (Tuburan) where tenant had to pay for repair..  even of leaky roof..  but can claim credit against rent.  These situations were NOT in condo or modern subdivision..  but in older homes in town..  and no written lease that I'm aware of.  But really..  the credit against rent meant that it wasn't much of a hardship to just do the repair.  

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Jack Rat
45 minutes ago, wondersailor said:

Do you have a lease or are you month to month ? What does your lease agreement say. If the repairmen work for the landlord I would doubt a charge will be seen by you. In the Philippines it is pretty much what you can negotiate with the landlord. No tenent bill of rights here. Your only other option is to pack up and move at the end of the month. But you probably will find the same thing at your next place.

 It's a good idea to add special clauses into the lease agreement to cover these grey areas, prior to renting. 

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