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Tip #105: Go With the Flow

toiletTalk about money going down the drain — or in this case, the sewer.

Landlords have a responsibility to keep renters’ toilets in good working order. Faulty parts can run up a tenant’s water bill in no time, or dramatically increase expenses on a rental if water is included.

Often, toilets leak because of a worn out flapper (sometimes called a “valve seal”). Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes.

Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model. You can also check the owners manual, if you have it, or the manufacturers Web site for the appropriate replacement part number for the flapper.

The Regional Water Providers Consortium has a step-by-step video on how to fix a leaky toilet.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

  • Doug

    Yup, I had a tenant drop out of school and move home. His rent was paid so I had no reason to enter the unit. After the first month passed I enetered to make sure there was not food type trash sitting around and found the toilet had been running for five weeks! That cost me $380. It’s shared water so I couldn’t do anything about it (except charge all tenants equally) so I ate it. I immediatly contacted tenant and offered to find a replacement to save him some rent, which I did. It’s always best to have your units rented with good tenants who will look put for your interest.

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