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My apartment has now had two instances of sewage water backing up and bubbling up from beneath my toilet, within two months. Both times, it was fortunate that I was home, and able to call maintenance in order to come and open up the main wastewater pipe to the building to relieve pressure and stop the water. I'm assuming that if we didn't, we might have had lasting damage to our belongings, the unit, and a pretty disgusting health hazard.
My girlfriend and I are approaching this from the perspective that we are within our rights to break our lease if this isn't repaired quickly. The statutes seem fairly clear, that if it's a health hazard(I deem that it is, and our local tenant's council seemed to agree), they have to respond and have it repaired within 15 days or so, from receiving a written notice. We've waited on the notice, because we just asked for repairs on Monday and a plumber should go into the pipe with a camera this Thursday to see what the problem is, but I am thinking I will want to start the "clock" pretty soon, even if they are being fully cooperate, in case something goes wrong.
Ultimately, my concern is what I can do to be sure that when the apartment managers claim repairs have been done, that they have in fact been done and the problem is fixed. I guess I could request a copy of an invoice from the plumbers who end up fixing it, but I don't think that really helps, and it seems like it will come down to the plumber's word, that he correctly identified and solved the problem. Any suggestions on making sure it's addressed properly?
My best idea, is getting a city building inspector to come by afterwards, but that assumes that they will be able to correctly identify the problem. It might only help if they inspect it before and afterwards. It might also create an antagonistic relationship, when for all I know, the problem will actually have been fixed.