If you just purchased your first rental property and it has a septic tank system for waste disposal, there are several things you need to be aware of. Unlike a plumbing system that is connected to the main sewer line, there are special precautions that will need to be taken by your tenant, and you will need to understand about your responsibility as a landlord. The following are a few things you should know.
You will be responsible for septic tank pumping
As a landlord, you will be expected to have the septic tank pumped every two to three years or as needed. Exactly how often you will need to do this for your septic tank will depend upon how much it is used and the size of the tank. If the previous owner told you the last time it was pumped, you will have a ballpark idea of when it will need to be pumped again.
You need to educate your tenants about the signs of a full septic tank
You will need to teach your tenants the signs that a tank needs to be pumped. This means being alert to slow drains and perhaps even drains that are backing up. One of the most obvious signs will be the lingering presence of a foul odor. There is also the possibility that the tank will begin to leak, and this can be detected by surrounding grass that is more green than the grass on other areas of the property.
You need to educate your tenants about using the plumbing
You have to be more careful with the toilet and the drains when your home has a septic tank. Tenants should understand that toilets should only be used for human waste and toilet paper. Anything else should be thrown in a trash can. Likewise, the kitchen sink should never have grease or cooking oil put down the drain. Coffee grounds can create a long-term problem as well. It is important that tenants exercise caution because careless use of a toilet and drains can lead to problems with the septic tank. Unless you can prove it was the tenant's fault, you will be paying the cost of these repairs.
Although a septic tank system is much different from a plumbing system connected to the city sewer system, as long as you understand the important aspects of using one, there isn't much difference. As a landlord, you will need to have the septic tank pumped periodically, depending upon its use and its size. You will need to educate your tenants about the proper use of the drains and the toilet with a septic system. They will also need to understand the signs that the tank needs to be pumped. Other than that, you may want to call for an annual septic system maintenance professional to make sure the system is working properly. Find septic tank services in your area today.