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  1. #1

    Question Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Georgia

    Hello, We are renting a house and are responsible for all utilities. I have no idea when the last time was that the landlord emptied their septic tank but we found out from the city how big it is and it should have been emptied long ago. The lease does not mention it at all.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    It should be the landlords responsibility to empty this.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    Quote Quoting usone123
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    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Georgia

    Hello, We are renting a house and are responsible for all utilities. I have no idea when the last time was that the landlord emptied their septic tank but we found out from the city how big it is and it should have been emptied long ago. The lease does not mention it at all.
    If there is a problem with the septic then it's up to the LL to remedy the problem per GA statute:

    2015 Georgia Code
    Title 44 - PROPERTY
    Chapter 7 - LANDLORD AND TENANT
    Article 1 - IN GENERAL
    44-7-13 - Landlord's duties as to repairs and improvements

    Universal Citation: GA Code 44-7-13 (2015)

    The landlord must keep the premises in repair. He shall be liable for all substantial improvements placed upon the premises by his consent.



    But if it ain't broke, he has no obligation to fix it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    That statute, along with OCGA Sec. 44-7-14, impose liability on the landlord for damages resulting from defects in the rented premises, but do not define the duty to maintain the habitability of the premises.

    I agree with gail that, absent something to the contrary in the lease, the landlord should be responsible for emptying the septic tank. A provision making the tenant responsible for utilities is normally going to include only those utilities provided by third parties, or for the tenant's share of the utilities in the event that they're shared by more than one unit. I have unfortunately not been able to find clear authority on septic tanks, save for the advice from Legal Aid that a tenant ask when the tank was last emptied before entering into a lease.

    If the tank needs to be emptied, ask your landlord to address the issue. If the landlord empties the tank and does not try to charge you, problem solved. If he tries to assess a charge, we can work a bit harder on crossing that bridge once we get to it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    Thank you. I'll see how the conversation goes. Best guess is it is 3 years overdue to be pumped, so we are lucky there are no issues as of yet.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    Septic tank pump outs depend on the number of people using them, what they put down them and the size of the tank. As a general rule, clean outs can be done at 3 to 5 year intervals. If you have no issues (yet) there's likely no problems with the septic tank.

    Gail

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: Is a Landlord Responsible for Emptying a Septic Tank

    Quote Quoting usone123
    View Post
    I have no idea when the last time was that the landlord emptied their septic tank but we found out from the city how big it is and it should have been emptied long ago. The lease does not mention it at all.
    So what size is the tank and when was it last emptied? Way too many variables here to simplistically say it's long overdue or that they need to be emptied every 3-5 years. What if the house was empty for the last 3 years? What size is the tank and when was it last emptied? As others have said, you should just have the conversation with the LL and see what he says before going any further with this.

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