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Blocked drains are a pain – they are disruptive, messy and potentially very expensive. So, trying to figure out who is responsible for a blocked drain is likely one of the last things you would like to think about while figuring out how to unclog your plumbing.

That is why our local plumbing team have put together a little guide as to who is responsible for different blocked drains and who to call – if you require some further assistance or information, contact Ryan Old Plumbing today on 1300 055 940.

What are the most common causes of blocked drains?

The most common causes of blocked drains are:

  • Grease, oils and fats.
  • Tree roots, plants and/or dirt that damages plumbing.
  • Storm damage.
  • Foreign objects, such as toys.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Hygiene products and sanitary items.
  • Human hair.

There are so many more things that can cause a drain blockage, but these are the ones that blocked drain plumbers see most often.

Who is responsible for a blocked drain?

When the property is owner-occupied

Property owner

  • Any and all plumbing issues and blockages that are located on your property are your responsibility. This includes in, under and around your home and any other buildings on your property.

Council/Wastewater Authority

  • Your local council or wastewater authority is responsible for all the pipes, drains and water metres that lead away from your property. They respond to blockages or issues in the main sewer line, as well as in the stormwater network from your property boundary.

When the property is rented

According to the Retail Tenancies Authority in Queensland, the following applies.


The Landlord is responsible for a blocked drain if:

  • The Landlord is the one who caused the blocked drain or caused damage that resulted in a blocked drain.
  • The blocked drain is due to fair wear and tear, such as age, storm damage and/or tree roots.
  • If the blocked drain is no one’s fault, the Landlord is responsible as property owner.


The Tenant is responsible for a blocked drain if:

  • The Tenant is the one who caused the blocked drain, even if it was accidentally. This can include situations such as foreign objects falling down the drain unintentionally or human hair causing a blockage.
  • The Tenant caused damage to the property, which resulted in a blocked drain.

If a situation arises where the blocked drain is an emergency it may be that the tenant arranges the appropriate fix to occur and who is responsible is arranged at a later date.

Who should you call if there is a blocked mains sewer drain?

Who you should call when it comes to a blocked mains sewer drain depends on where you are located. Also remember, calling someone for assistance when it comes to blocked mains sewer drains refers to pipes, drains and/or inspection points that are not located on your property or another private property.


Brisbane residents can call Queensland Urban Utilities 24 hours a day on 13 23 64. More information can be found at

Gold Coast

Gold Coast residents can call the City of Gold Coast on (07) 5667 5801 or 1300 000 928.

More information can be found at


Redland residents can call the Redland City Council on (07) 3829 8999. More information can be found at


Logan residents can call the Logan City Council on (07) 3412 3412 or 1300 156 426 (if you have a Logan City Landline). More information can be found at

Need urgent help with your drains in Brisbane and Gold Coast? Our local plumbers can help. Contact us today on 1300 055 940 or complete our online plumber booking form.