‘Can I charge my tenant for water?’ is fast becoming a regular question from Landlords. The answer is yes, however before you can charge your tenant for water you need to make sure that you cover the necessary requirements to comply with the QLD legislation as per below.
- the rental premises are individually metered (or water is delivered by vehicle), and
- the rental premises are water efficient, and
- the tenancy agreement states the tenant must pay for water consumption
There are a number of ways to deem your property water compliant:
- plumbing reports
- warranties or instruction manuals for taps and showerheads, etc.
However to reduce the possibility of disputes in regards to water compliancy and or water charges, our agency would recommend to have a water compliance completed by a licenced Plumber.
QLD legislation states that water usage charges must be charged within 30 days of receiving a water rates notice. The tenant then has 30 days from the date of invoice to be reimburse the money. Should your property be made water compliant part way through the tenancy and or the period of a water rates notice, a water meter reading is taken at the time of the compliance and the water usage is calculated from the reading recorded.
If your investment property is not water compliant but is individually metered, you can still pass on an excess water usage charges. The Landlord and the Tenant must agree that the excess water usage number is fair. The excess water usage amount should take into account the number of people in the property, gardens or pool at the property and the average water usage for the number of people residing in the property. The agreed number must also be outlined in the special terms of the General Tenancy Agreement. Any water usage above the agreed excess water amount can then be charged to the tenant as per the local water authority rate.
Water access, sewerage access and sewerage usage charges cannot be passed onto the tenants.
For more of water charges, please see the link to the RTA website: https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/Resources/Fact-sheets/General-tenancy-fact-sheets/Water-charging-fact-sheet
Anita Genrich – Orbit Property