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Owner or tenant: who pays the plumber? When a leak occurs or a sink or toilet gets clogged, who has to pay the plumber? Is it up to the landlord or tenant to pay the plumber? This question often comes up and there is often a source of misunderstanding when it comes to paying the plumber. Let's take a closer look.

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The obligations of the tenant towards the owner

The Civil Code of Quebec provides for certain obligations of the tenant towards the owner (the landlord):

  • Use housing with care and diligence (article 1855 of the CCQ)
  • Carry out rental repairs in certain cases (CCQ 1864)
  • Undertake urgent and necessary repairs (CCQ 1865)
  • Warn the owner of a defect or substantial deterioration (article 1866 of the C.c.Q.)
  • You can find the complete list of obligations on the Régie du logement website.

Who should call the plumber?

As soon as the tenant notices a leak, a sink or a clogged toilet, they must immediately contact the owner and inform them of the situation by all available means. The tenant must obtain permission from the landlord to have a plumber repair something. The landlord and the tenant will then be able to agree which of the two will contact a plumber.

In a case where the tenant can not reach the owner, if the repair is urgent and the tenant can prove that they tried to contact the owner without success, the tenant can have the repair done by the owner. In fact, the tenant will pay the plumber and will be reimbursed by the owner.

Who should pay the plumber?

It all depends on the type of repair. Minor repairs are the tenant's responsibility. For plumbing work or repairs, they should normally be paid by the owner unless the breakage is the fault or negligence of the tenant. For example, if a toilet is clogged with a child's toy or too much toilet paper, the owner may refuse to pay for the plumbing as the intervention is caused by negligence on the part of the tenant.

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